W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > November 2001

Re: Excess URI schemes considered harmful

From: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 09:50:40 -0500
Cc: uri@w3.org
To: "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@mysterylights.com>
Message-Id: <7B6BEAB4-D1FC-11D5-832E-003065D5CE46@aaronsw.com>
[trimmed long CC list]

On Tuesday, October 30, 2001, at 12:25  PM, Sean B. Palmer wrote:

> I have in effect derived the meaning of an HTTP URI-ref using 
> methods other than HTTP, and other than some catalogue of HTTP 
> documents.

While this is certainly true, and may be useful, it seems to 
ignore the foundational ideas of the Web. You can derive the 
"meaning" of any string in this manner, be it a URI, URI-ref, or 
a piece of binary garbage you received in the mail.

The benefit of URIs was that they were _Uniform_ -- they have a 
well-defined way of creation, definition and a binding of some 
sort to Resources. There are also many systems (like HTTP, etc.) 
built on top of this system of URIs.

But, not all of this holds true for URI-references. They're 
mapping to Resources does not follow the spec, their creation 
and definition is unclear, and they are not supported by HTTP or 
other protocols.

This is why I don't understand why some insist that 
URI-references are just as good as URIs. If this is true, why 
not random strings, or any sort of binary data?

       "Aaron Swartz"      |              The Semantic Web
  <mailto:me@aaronsw.com>  |  <http://logicerror.com/semanticWeb-long>
<http://www.aaronsw.com/> |        i'm working to make it happen
Received on Monday, 5 November 2001 09:53:10 UTC

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