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Re: theory and practice (Re: URIs for Physical Items)

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 13:29:27 -0400
Message-Id: <200010271726.NAA09442@hesketh.net>
To: michaelm@netsol.com
Cc: "'uri@w3.org'" <uri@w3.org>
At 12:47 PM 10/27/00 -0400, Michael Mealling wrote:
>I'm curious though, what's your preferred solution? I disagree that there's
>a problem but I'm curious what your solution to your problem might look like?

I'm not sure it's a solution that you'd be fond of, but there are two parts.

1) Start publishing in plain English on why URIs are a good thing, 
     including examples that work.  Document the infrastructure(s)
     surrounding URIs and differentiate between different types of
     URIs and their 'proper' usage.  (To some extent, this means 
     documenting the understandings shared in the core community which
     haven't been made explicit in documents like RFC 2396.)

2) Consider an infrastructure for providing metadata and perhaps 
     'resolution' to an entity body which can be applied to all URIs,
     regardless of schema.  In a strong sense, this is all about 
     metadata, and even the entity body can be considered a perverse
     form of metadata for URIs.

I know that you said:
>We don't build big huge infrastructures. We come up with itty bitty
>pieces and let communities take thsoe and build them into something useful
>to them.

While I value the chaotic approach, I haven't seen any attempt to balance
that chaos with infrastructure (or even documentation) that developers can
walk up to and figure out.  'itty bitty pieces' backed up with theory that
doesn't play well outside of a core community doesn't seem like a recipe
for success to me.

Too many developers don't have control over the documents they have to
process. In that situation, some kind of supporting infrastructure would be
very helpful, and would remove a lot of the fear and loathing currently
involved with URIs.

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
XHTML: Migrating Toward XML
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books
Received on Friday, 27 October 2000 13:26:03 UTC

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