W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > March 2010

Re: scheduling persistent naming discussion

From: Nick Gall <nick.gall@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 15:06:24 -0400
Message-ID: <a6a6df361003231206l42b13f8eta160ec235aef2f06@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-tag@w3.org
Pardon the intrusion, but the discussion reminded me of one of my favorite
quotations about names and naming, which I think is relevant in this

*A fundamental purpose for a name, then, is to accomplish sharing, and the
second scheme is to include a name for a component object in a containing
object. When names are used, some way is then needed to associate the names
with particular objects. As we shall see, it is common for several names to
be associated with the same object, and for one name to be associated with
different objects for different purposes. In examining these various
possibilities, we shall discover that they all fit into one abstract
pattern. This abstract pattern for containment by naming is as follows: a
context is a partial mapping from some names into some objects of the
system. To employ a component object, a name is chosen for the object, a
context that maps that name into that component object is identified or
created, the name is included in the containing object, and the context is
associated with the containing object. At some later time, when the
containing object is the target of some computation, the program interpreter
performing the computation may need to refer to the component object. It
accomplishes this reference by looking up the name in the associated
context. Arranging that a context shall map a name into an object is called
binding that name to that object in that context. Using a context to locate
an object from a name is called resolving that name in that context.*
JH Saltzer, "Naming and Binding of Objects"

What needs to persist seems to be the mapping, so perhaps "persistent
mapping" is the more precise term?

-- Nick

Nick Gall
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On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM, Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 10:37 AM, Larry Masinter <LMM@acm.org> wrote:
> > ===================================================
> > I met a traveller from an antique land
> > Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
> > Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
> > Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
> > And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
> > Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
> > Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
> > The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
> > And on the pedestal these words appear:
> > "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
> > Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
> > And Here is my URL, http://ozymandias.org.
> > Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
> > Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
> > The lone and level sands stretch far away.
> > ================================================
> >
> > A "name" is just a string. What you really want is not a "persistent
> name" but a "guarantee" -- whatever that might mean -- of a service,
> generally recognized by society -- that will direct others from the name to
> the thing that you want the name to mean.
> >
> > As long as we call the problem "persistent naming" rather than
> "persistent services", we'll keep on talking in circles.
> Yes, many of us made the same point on the GBIF committee I served on,
> so we talked about "persistent actionable identifiers", although I
> might have been happier with "persistently actionable identifiers".
> I don't think anyone disagrees with the point that it's not just a
> technical problem. The sloppy terminology is more a matter of habit
> and entrenched practice than misconception. The digital archiving
> world, for example, seems hellbent on "persistent identifier" (without
> misconception about what is *meant*, I think) and nothing we say will
> change what it calls this phenomenon.
> Maybe Noah can help make the point by changing it on the agenda to
> "persistent identifier resolvability" or something of that sort.
> Jonathan
> > I've made the link before, but really urge review of the 1999 workshop:
> (9/99) Problems URIs don't solve (http://larry.masinter.net/9909-twist.pdf)
> Presentation at  TWIST 99( http://www.ics.uci.edu/IRUS/twist/twist99/)
>  The Workshop on Internet-scale Software Technologies, Internet Scale
> Naming.
> >
> > also
> http://masinter.blogspot.com/2010/03/resources-are-angels-urls-are-pins.html.
> >
> > Larry
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: www-tag-request@w3.org [mailto:www-tag-request@w3.org] On Behalf
> Of Jonathan Rees
> > Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 5:02 AM
> > To: www-tag@w3.org
> > Subject: scheduling persistent naming discussion
> >
> > It would be unfortunate to discuss ISSUE-50 without Larry, scheduled
> > for 3pm Thursday after he's gone, since he provides such an important
> > skeptic's perspective and has been thinking about this problem for
> > over a decade.
> >
> > I don't know how to fix this, though - the only options I see are
> > swapping with one of the morning sessions, secrets in URIs and content
> > type override, both of which seem pretty important.
> >
> > In his absence we would just have to do our best to represent him.
> >
> > So I just throw this out there without any particular request or
> > advice. Maybe let's bring it up under agenda review on Monday.
> >
> > Jonathan
Received on Tuesday, 23 March 2010 19:07:14 UTC

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