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Re: httpRange-14 , what's the problem

From: Miles Sabin <miles@milessabin.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 10:52:19 +0100
To: "www-tag" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <200207171052.19326.miles@milessabin.com>

Joshua Allen wrote,
> C. Some people claim that identity is inherently ambiguous, and
> therefore URIs are meaningless to begin with.  Since a URI doesn't
> *really* identify anything, it doesn't matter what scheme you use. 
> This is the perversion of "minimally constraining".

That's not quite right if that's meant to be a characterization of my 
position.

All I claim is that some ident*ifiers* are in practice used ambiguously. 
I think that's uncontroversial: where we differ is on how best to deal 
with it. Some people believe that ambiguity is inherently bad and 
should be (and presumably can be) eliminated. I believe that it's 
likely to be impossible to eliminate ambiguity, so the question of 
whether it's good or bad is moot, and that instead we should look to 
beefing up the available disambiguating mechanisms.

As a follow on from the above I also believe we have at least one clear 
cut case of ambiguous use of identifiers where learning to live with 
ambiguity actually helps: namespace URIs having the dual role of 
identifying both an abstract namespace and an ancilliary document. 
Rather than arguing endlessly over whether the document is the 
namespace, or is a representation of the namespace, or whatever, we can 
simply declare the URI to be ambiguous (but harmlessly so) and move on. 
Note that you can reject this follow on without having to reject the 
first part of my position.

Cheers,


Miles
Received on Wednesday, 17 July 2002 05:52:51 GMT

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