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Re: what is this? was: Re: now://example.org/car

From: Jonathan Borden <jonathan@openhealth.org>
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 07:51:18 -0400
Message-ID: <00ff01c26f8a$2e9a0150$7c674544@ne.mediaone.net>
To: "Chris Lilley" <chris@w3.org>, <www-tag@w3.org>, <www-tag-request@w3.org>
Cc: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>

Chris Lilley wrote:
> JB> http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1772811392
> JB> is this a web page or a car or an auction for a car?
> Its a web page (for one lot(a car) in an auction), clearly.

Not so clearly! It could be any of the above depending on how the URI is
used. I think it is only so clearly a web page for folks who spend 100% of
their time thinking about web pages.

Imagine the following email:

Hey Bill,

I am thinking about bidding on

You know about cars, what is a fair price?

Two people might effectively communicate without _directly_ speaking of web
pages. What I am saying is that URIs are _words_ and words are used to mean
what the people use them to mean.

The really cool thing about HTTP words is that you click on them to find out
what they mean -- but still, they are interpreted in context just as other
words do.

For example:

Hey Bill, do you like the layout of
Should we change the fonts?
Hey Bill, is http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1772811392
your very favorite car?

Same representation, but each use of the word has a different meaning --
depending on context.

Received on Wednesday, 9 October 2002 08:09:45 UTC

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