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Re: [httpRange-14] What do HTTP URIs Identify?

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Thu, 01 Aug 2002 15:42:57 -0700
Message-ID: <3D49B971.3020804@textuality.com>
To: www-tag@w3.org

Roy T. Fielding wrote:

> The goal of this model is to give people who wish to refer to something
> an identifier that will never need to be changed just because the
> content changes, for as long as the identifier continues to refer to
> the same concept that the referrer intended.  As such, allowing the
> identifier to identify more than one concept is a non-starter.

Er... and how do you disallow identifiers from identifying whatever 
people think they identify?  A single set of assertions that need to be 
internally consistent had better use the same URIs to identify the same 
things.  But across the broad information space of the web, how do can 
you ever sustain a promise that a URI will be used for only one concept?

This gives TBL all sorts of grief, but I think that it is *inevitable* 
that there will be places where different people use the URI to identify 
different things.  I think the SemWeb architecture has to be strong 
enough to deal with this, without vanishing into a black hole.  I think 
there's a strong analogy with early hypertext systems, that could not 
tolerate the potential that link targets might not be there.  The 
Semantic Web has to be able to tolerate the fact that you can't know 
what a resource is, and thus different parties may not have a shared 
perception of this, just like the Web needed 404 to work. -Tim
Received on Thursday, 1 August 2002 18:43:00 UTC

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