Re: URL semantics

Tim Berners-Lee (
Fri, 10 Jan 1997 12:47:32 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 12:47:32 -0500
To: Daniel LaLiberte <>,
From: Tim Berners-Lee <>
Subject: Re: URL semantics

At 11:27 am 09-01-97 -0600, Daniel LaLiberte wrote:
>Larry Masinter writes:

>But for all URLs (and URNs, if they may be distinguished), the URL
>identifies the interaction.  In the case of *some* URLs, the
>interaction results in a data object, so it only *seems* that the URL
>identifies the data object, but that is an indirect effect.

I  completely disagree.  The URL identifies the object.  That is
fundamental to the concept of the web. The web is a web of
quasi static resources, not a set of operations, as base.  This
is essential architecturally and from the UI point of view.

How a given browser, desktop, etc, behaves when you activate the
reference to an object is (mercifully) controllable by the user, just as in
one can chose a default operation on double-click on an icon.
When you refer to a book, I can chose to buy it or get it from the library.

If you wanted to make something which contains an interaction, some
operation, then you would need a language in which resource identifiers
were a part.  But there are many languages for that, and there can be many
more.  (A frameset is one, a form is another, Java is another.)


PS: Above I use "object" to be consistent with the thread, I should
use "resource".