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Re: Simple solution? Pub. Idents. vs URN.

From: Jon Bosak <bosak@atlantic-83.Eng.Sun.COM>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 21:25:50 -0800
Message-Id: <199611280525.VAA02787@boethius.eng.sun.com>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
CC: bosak@atlantic-83.Eng.Sun.COM
| Not all documents will have persistent identifiers. But all documents
| *will* have locations. (just as all machines do not have domain names,
| but all machines do have IP addresses)

<rant>

I personally believe that the parallel almost universally drawn
between persistent identifiers and IP addresses is the single largest
obstacle to understanding this entire problem.  In fact, document
resolution and domain name resolution are almost exactly opposite
problems.

Domain name resolution is when I'm given one of a possibly unlimited
number of names for a machine and I need to find the one machine
that it refers to.

Document resolution is when I'm given the name of a document and I
need to find one of its possibly unlimited number of copies.

To think of "the document" as a thing bound to a location in the same
way that one thinks of "the machine" as a thing bound to a location
is, in my opinion, to commit a category error that hopelessly muddles
all further thought on the subject.  The notion that there is One True
Copy of a text stopped being accurate with the invention of the
printing press, and we stopped referencing documents that way even
before then.  The biggest problem with URLs is that in attempting to
implement hypertext they misrepresent the idea of text itself.

</rant>

(My apologies to the innocent poster who set that off.)

Jon
Received on Thursday, 28 November 1996 00:27:56 EST

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