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Re: URIs for Physical Items

From: Aaron Swartz <aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 22:21:01 -0500
To: <uri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B6112FCC.1B09F%aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Paskin, Norman (DOI-ELS) <n.paskin@doi.org> wrote:

> No, URLs are not appropriate for designating physical items:
> 1. A physical item may exist in multiple copies.  ISBNs for example do not
> refer to a specific copy of a book; they identify the class of all copies in
> an edition.  It is useful to identify the class not a specific instance of
> it. 

I disagree. I may want to talk about my iBook, which is most definitely a
specific instance of an item, and a very real one. (And whose Internet
address is ibook.swartzfam.com.) But I could also want to talk about all
iBooks, as a class. Both are definitely worth referring to. Are you saying
that such references are beyond the scope of URIs?

> 2. A user may well wish to differentiate between a website (URL) -e.g. for
> maintenenace, administration; and the entity currently avaiulable at that
> website.  If the URl is used for one it cannot be used for the other.

This is an interesting point. Is there a concept of a pointer, to
distinguish between the address "http://apple.com/ibook/" (perhaps this
could be done using the data: scheme?) the actual page currently at
http://apple.com/ibook/ and the class of objects described at
http://apple.com/ibook/ (namely iBooks)?

        Aaron Swartz         |"This information is top security.
<http://swartzfam.com/aaron/>|     When you have read it, destroy yourself."
  <http://www.theinfo.org/>  |             - Marshall McLuhan            
Received on Monday, 16 October 2000 23:22:36 UTC

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