Hypertext::non-Hypertext not URL::URN

Larry Masinter (masinter@parc.xerox.com)
Fri, 2 Jan 1998 09:53:03 PST

Message-ID: <34AD297F.15D39C63@parc.xerox.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Jan 1998 09:53:03 PST
From: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
To: michaelm@rwhois.net
CC: paf@swip.net, fielding@kiwi.ics.uci.edu, harald.t.alvestrand@uninett.no,
Subject: Hypertext::non-Hypertext not URL::URN


I think you've made an important point that I don't want to
get lost. The syntax forms that are controversial
(fragment identifiers, relative forms, query syntax)
are part of the application of HYPERTEXT.

In fact, whether or not you want those forms seems to depend
entirely on whether or not you think you're doing hypertext.

The distinction between having them and not seems to have
little to do with whether or not the identifiers are "location
independent". If you want a resource locator but you're
not doing hypertext (e.g., the resources that you're locating
are printers for IPP or servers for service location or whatever)
then the relative, query, and fragment forms are not applicable.

If you ARE doing hypertext, then those forms are useful,
even if you believe the identifiers are permanent, location
independent, and have all of the attributes that are intended
for URNs and not for URLs.

"Uniform Resource Identifiers" define a space of fully qualified,
non annotated names, while "hypertext references" imbue some
semantics to the internal syntax of URIs (namely, give significance
to "/" and "?" within Uniform Resource Identifiers), add a new
syntactic element ("#" fragment identifiers), and add a new protocol
element (relative identifiers).