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

Re: What is at the end of the namespace?

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 15:55:21 -0000
Message-ID: <00e401c16dee$1642b8c0$32d993c3@localhost>
To: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Cc: <www-talk@w3.org>, <uri@w3.org>
> Assertion 1: Mammals may have either no legs, two legs
> or four legs.
> Assertion 2: Dogs may have either no legs, two legs or
>              four legs, because mammals may have either no
>              legs, two legs or four legs.
> and totally misses the fact that
> Assertion 3: Dogs have four legs.

Close, but no cigar. For a start, your comparison this time assumes
that subsets of URIs (URIs with a certain scheme) must have a set
number of legs... er, i.e. they necessarily denote a non-equivalent
subset of the whole set of resources that URIs can denote. If that
were true, it would be pointless to continue with a "tag:" or
"urn:pts:" style scheme/NID, because those are meant to be able to
denote anything.

Nothwithstanding that, you're still really missing what I'm saying.
I'll lay the facts out sequentially, so that you can just stop me
where I'm wrong:-

* The URI specification says that the definition of a resource is
"anything which has identity"
* When creating a new scheme, it is possible to come up with one which
can denote "anything which has identity"
* Unless a scheme's documentation says that those URIs necessarily
denote a subset of resources, they don't

That's it. This is turning into a bizarre argument, because in the
words of a man whom I greatly admire:-

I feel like I've been in the Twilight Zone where every word I use no
longer holds its meaning and every time I write "green" folks read
"blue", and the frustration has been significant.

All I want you to do is point me to a bit of verbiage in an RFC which
says "thou shalt use HTTP URIs to identify chunks of data only", and
I'll go "fair enough, I accept that now".

> They are using them, because that's *all* there is to use.
> Show me one, single, solitary URI scheme provided or
> promoted by either the IETF or W3C for denoting abstract
> concepts *only*.

Register an informal NID. It takes two, maybe three weeks to do so,
and then you have a set of persistent identifers forever. The
registration process could not be all that simpler, and you get to
decide what they denote.

But we're pressing through "tag:" as such a URI scheme, and it's quite
far down the recommendation track. We'll just have to be patient, and
I know that it's very difficult... but we don't have much of a choice.


Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://webns.net/roughterms/> .
:Sean :hasHomepage <http://purl.org/net/sbp/> .
Received on Thursday, 15 November 2001 10:56:42 UTC

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