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Re: URIs: Identifiers in name, but...

From: Aaron Swartz <aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Date: Sun, 06 May 2001 22:59:18 -0500
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, <uri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B71B87C5.ADDA%aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net> wrote:

> Search URLs do not operate by referring to a persistent identity.  They
> operate by describing characteristics of resources which, if they exist, would
> be of interest to the party originating the search URL.  They characterize
> demand. They don't identify supply.

Really? I sure hope not. I (and I'd bet others) count on the URL:


to represent the resource "documents about the string 'uri'". I'd be quite
surprised if Google ever changed the resource that this URL was bound to.
Yahoo! is the same way.

> They do identify the engine whose service they seek to enlist.  However, the
> real meat of the search URL, and what is unique to, and captured in, the URL
> is not the identity of the resource or resources sought, but their
> characteristics.

Perhaps I am using the URL to find more resources, but that does not mean
that the URL does not identify a resource in itself.

> The binding of search URLs to resources is done on the fly by the search
> engine.  This binding does not have, nor would it be good for it to have,
> persistence.

Err, I certainly hope not. The search engine has persistently bound that URL
to the resource for my search results. Sure, the search results change
continually, but this does not mean that the binding does. You seem to have
fallen to the resource/binding/entity confusion again.

A URI is bound to a resource (hopefully for all time). The resource
identifies a conceptual mapping to an entity (a set of bits, a thing
(person, book, etc.), etc.).

[ Aaron Swartz | me@aaronsw.com | http://www.aaronsw.com ]
Received on Sunday, 6 May 2001 23:59:31 UTC

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