W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > January 2003

Re: yet another sidetrack on what a URI identifies

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 22:34:49 -0500
Message-Id: <200301150334.h0F3YnK12607@wadimousa.hawke.org>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@apache.org>
cc: www-tag@w3.org

> > So what does the URI "http://www.w3.org/Consortium/" denote?   If you
> > can't say for certain, then tell me what it might or should denote.
> Whatever www.w3.org wants it to denote.  What do the RDF assertions
> say it denotes?  That is, after all, why we needed RDF -- because the
> Web doesn't tell the client what a URI denotes, nor what properties
> it will maintain consistently over time.

That could be a nice use for RDF, but I doubt it's the motivating use
case for anyone who has put in much time or money.  (I happen to think
we need RDF because we need a standard KR language (for general agent
communication) which bootstraps its ontologies off the web.)

> In any case, the reason we had this discussion originally is because
> some people were complaining about xmlns identifiers being http URIs
> because they believed that a URI could not be both a name and a way
> of retrieving a web page.  They are wrong, as demonstrated repeatedly
> by working practice and the REST model, because they were ignoring
> the difference between a URI and a GET action on a URI.

That's what suckered me into this thread -- I basically agree with you
here (and my first mail started "I totally agree").  But in addition
to agreeing with your complaints and conclusions, I thought I would
share my idea of why the problem arose and how we might agree to fix
it.  (My point was simply that people can very effectively use the
same string to name different but related things.)   

    -- sandro
Received on Tuesday, 14 January 2003 22:35:41 UTC

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