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RE: Clarifying what a URL identifies (Four Uses of a URL)

From: Michael Mealling <michael@neonym.net>
Date: 21 Jan 2003 20:58:31 -0500
To: Dare Obasanjo <dareo@microsoft.com>
Cc: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>, Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>, David Booth <dbooth@w3.org>, www-tag@w3.org, "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@apache.org>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1043200711.23504.158.camel@blackdell.neonym.net>

On Tue, 2003-01-21 at 16:34, Dare Obasanjo wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Tim Bray [mailto:tbray@textuality.com] 
> > Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 1:02 PM
> > To: Sandro Hawke
> > Cc: Michael Mealling; David Booth; www-tag@w3.org; Roy T. 
> > Fielding; Dan Connolly
> > 
> > 
> > Sandro Hawke wrote:
> > 
> > > URIs are strings which are used for different things in different 
> > > situations, in a manner controlled by the semantics of the 
> > situation.
> > 
> > On the other hand, using the same URI to mean different 
> > things is a Bad Thing and leads to confusion and misbehavior 
> > not only at the Semantic Web level but in terms of general 
> > human utility.  
> 
> No matter how forcefully you state it you cannot get around the fact
> that people will use both http://www.25hoursaday.com to refer to me as a
> person or to whatever representation is returned by Apache when an HTTP
> GET is performed. It seems that you are implying that a Semantic Web
> based on URIs is broken [as designed?]. 

There's an intended difference between how other people use an
identifier and how you, the entity with authority over that identifier,
intends it to be used. I can claim that http://www.25hoursaday.com is
actually an identifier for me but since I'm not authoritative for it no
one is going to believe me....

> > It's a formalism.  The Web Architecture has a formalism 
> > called a "Resource" which is the one thing that corresponds 
> > to each URI. 
> 
> This statement is meaningless and yet W3C TAG members keep repeating it.
> What is the one resource that the URI "http://www.w3.org/Consortium/"
> identifies? 

The Resource that has that identifier. You can point to it, it just is
by virtue of the URI existing. Its a platonic 'Resource'. It doesn't
exist physically or virtually. It just _is_. Things can claim to be
representations of it, but nothing can ever actually _be_ it.

-MM
Received on Tuesday, 21 January 2003 21:01:15 GMT

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