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RE: What is at the end of the namespace?

From: Danny Ayers <danny666@virgilio.it>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 22:39:54 +0100
To: <www-talk@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EBEPLGMHCDOJJJPCFHEFGEGKEFAA.danny666@virgilio.it>
I know the answer's likely to include half a dozen URLs to 10yr old list
postings and quotes from 1945, but never one to shirk public humiliation,
what's at the other end of the name? i.e. say

http://www.qweqwe.com

is just an abbreviation (that conveniently works in browsers) of the URI

ip.http://www.qweqwe.com

(I've just tried ping & nslookup on this, both happily gave positive
results, finding ip.http with a search engine is another matter...)

Cheers,
Danny.

---
Danny Ayers
http://www.isacat.net


>-----Original Message-----
>From: www-talk-request@w3.org [mailto:www-talk-request@w3.org]On Behalf
>Of Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com
>Sent: 12 November 2001 22:59
>To: sean@mysterylights.com
>Cc: www-talk@w3.org
>Subject: RE: What is at the end of the namespace?
>
>
>> No; you are implying that there is a default base of semantics for
>> HTTP identifiers, that they are intended to resolve to a set of
>> documents, or somesuch. HTTP makes no such assumption; if you look
>> through the range of HTTP respose codes, you'll find that there are a
>> multitude of things that HTTP can say already: here's some
>> information, it's moved to here, I couldn't find it, you need to be
>> authenticated, or whatever. HTTP is very extensible, so one could
>> quite easily conceive of a "here's some information about what you are
>> looking for" response code in a future version of HTTP. TimBL
>> mentioned this idea on RDF IG (but I don't have a reference, and I'm
>> going to be lazy).
>
>How about a response such as "Retrieve *that*?, are you out of your mind?!"
>such as an HTTP URL for the abstract concept of 'INSANE'.
>
>I.e., those responses are based on the *expectation* that the resource
>is a web resource that is *retrievable* (or accessible, or dereferencable,
>or pick your favorite word).
>
>> The point is that there is no "intention" about what an HTTP URI, or
>> any other of the so-called "URLs" identify - that is up to the person
>> who owns the information space under some domain name or IP address.
>>
>> > Gee, how about if I start minting bogus 'mailto:' URLs [...]
>>
>> "mailto:" URIs are not HTTP URIs,
>
>Never said they were.
>
>> and it's not helping your case to
>> back up your assertion by noting the properties of an unrelated URI
>> scheme.
>
>You might want to try reading more slowly... ;-)
>
>> > I could just as validly say that 'http:' URIs are meant to
>> > resolve, [...]
>>
>> HTTP URIs denote a resource. The nature of the discussion that we're
>> having is whther or not they necessarily identify some subset of
>> resources, and where this is defined.
>
>No, HTTP URIs denote *web* resources. There's a difference ;-)
>
>> [SNIP]
>
>> > [...] the current "There's no such thing as URL or URN, only
>> > URI" nonsense seems just spin to make the mess seem less
>> > than it is. IMO the IETF/W3C should be a bit embarrased.
>> > They blew it.
>>
>> Of course - but I don't think that anyone is trying to hide that. On
>> the contrary, I believe that the W3C at least is trying very hard to
>> clear up the mess; but the field is a mix of opinions (about 5 per URI
>> expert), and so it's going to take time to resolve. I can't even
>> discern a clear consensus on the most basic of issues from any of the
>> "experts".
>>
>> > And I'm not just complaining. I'm also working to try to help
>> > clean up the mess, for the sake future web generations.
>>
>> Join the club :-)
>>
>> [...]
>> > And to be honest, the lack of a *formal* taxonomy of URI
>> > schemes is a pity. I think that one is sorely needed.
>>
>> The problem with trying to initiate and install a URI taxonomy within
>> the Web environment at this late stage is that no one is going to
>> listen, or no one is going to care, or most likely: both. People don't
>> really want to understand what's going on with URIs and so on when
>> they're just using them in day-to-day applications, and that's fine...
>> but the software developers and so on need to be very wary, and it is
>> evident that there hasn't really been a market for making sure that
>> URIs are well defined until things like RDF came around.
>
>And it's those software vendors that will care about an explicit
>taxonomy and use it. "People" shouldn't even necessarily see most
>URIs. "People" need not understand about URIs. "People" are not the
>ones to decide whether an explicit URI taxonomy is necessary or not.
>
>> > My motives are pure. Really. I'll send you a photo of me
>> > in my white hat ;-)
>>
>> Heh, heh! :-) What I meant is that we both have different reasons for
>> wanting to have a set of easily creatable URIs for generic
>> concepts that are not HTTP-URIs. You want then because for some reason
>> you think that HTTP-URIs-to-identify-concepts suck. I want
>> them because I don't believe that we should be necessarily tied to
>> using HTTP URIs to identify concepts, that we should have to pay
>> for domains to have decent persistent identifers, and that we
>> shouldn't have to fear having our domains whipped out from underneath
>> us because we didn't pay the bill, or the registrar screwed up, or
>> whatever. Ask DanC: it happens, and it's not pretty when it does.
>
>Exactly. I empathize with all of those motivations, and share many
>of them. The biggest problem with using HTTP URIs for abstract
>concepts or for indirect idenifiers (e.g. URNs) is that "People"
>get gonzo confused when some HTTP daemon doesn't resolve it to
>"something". Hence, all the folks trying to find stuff from
>XML namespace URIs and "hacks" (sorry for the derogatory
>connotation there) like RDDL which, while being a great idea
>overall, and may very well be part of the long term solution,
>are tied to the wrong vehicle (namespace URLs), and further
>propagate misunderstandings about what URIs (not URLs) are
>and what to expect from different URI schemes.
>
>> Of course, there's also the point that Roy Fielding raised, which is
>> that URIs are only persistent when you have a big enough user
>> base for them. HTTP URIs are good because the entire world uses them,
>> and it's something that's going to be difficult to address for
>> "tag:" or whatever. We need to get these URIs going so that we can
>> start evangelizing them right away; implementing them, and
>> spreading the word.
>
>Agreed. Though I think that a good URI scheme will partly sell
>itself.
>
>> [...]
>> > And in case I didn't add enough of these above...
>> >
>> >  ;-)  ;-)  ;-)  ;-)  ;-)  ;-)  ;-)  ;-)  ;-)
>>
>> Same goes, BTW; as usual, it has been a pleasure to rant at you,
>> Patrick :-)
>
>Rant *with* me, not at me ;-)
>
>Cheers,
>
>Patrick
>
>--
>
>Patrick Stickler              Phone: +358 50 483 9453
>Senior Research Scientist     Fax:   +358 7180 35409
>Nokia Research Center         Email: patrick.stickler@nokia.com
>
Received on Tuesday, 13 November 2001 16:44:05 GMT

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