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Re: [metaDataInURI-31]: Initial draft finding for public review/ comme nt.

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@apache.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 17:27:24 +0200
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
To: "Williams, Stuart" <skw@hp.com>
Message-Id: <AB6A5B70-B60F-11D7-884B-000393753936@apache.org>

> Personally, I am ok with a position that allows context of use to 
> affect
> what is identified when a reference is made using an identifier.
>
> I think there are folks who want, or believe, that what a URI 
> identifies is
> context independent (or the same in all contexts). I thought that 
> there was
> a bias toward that POV in webarch. However, on a quick scan of the
> "Identification and Resources" section I don't it is stated explicitly.
>
> If the resource referenced by a URI varies with context of use (which I
> think is what you are saying) we should state that very clearly in Web 
> Arch.

The resource referred to by the URI does not vary.  What varies is the
target that is ultimately referred to by the "sentence" surrounding the
URI referral.  For example, if I say

    I want one of these cars: <http://www.vw.com/touareg/>.

Then I have used that URI to identify a category of vehicles by
reference to an HTTP resource identified by an http URI.  The URI
is acting as an identifier for that VW brand of car, and it seems
unlikely that www.vw.com will reuse that identifier for something
else, even though it is clear that <http://www.vw.com/touareg/>
on its own is a website for the vehicle brand and not the brand itself.

In other words, context matters even when the URI itself is
context-independent, and use within a given context is what defines
the meaning of a reference.  That is why there is no conflict at all
between the references <a href="http://example.com"> and
<foo xmlns="http://example.com">; the context surrounding
the reference defines meaning by its use, not by the URI scheme.

....Roy
Received on Monday, 14 July 2003 11:42:22 GMT

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