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Re: What is at the end of the namespace?

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2001 18:27:21 +0900
Message-Id: <>
To: "David G. Durand" <David_Durand@brown.edu>(by way of Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>), uri@w3.org
At 21:05 01/11/17 +0900, David G. Durand wrote:

>At 1:05 PM -0800 11/16/01, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>>The only chaos I have seen is in the writings of more recent specifications
>>that ignore the research and experience of the Web developers in favor of
>>their own personal view of an ideal world.  When they implement something
>>that works and has the same expressive power as the Web itself, then I will
>>take their writings seriously.
>A lot of the issues raised in the URN debate were raised by people from a 
>library background, and librarians have been devising reference systems 
>for a long time.

Yes indeed. But they also carry some baggage.

It took me a very long time to understand why some people insisted
that much on the distinction between names and locations. I finally
understood it when I talked to somebody from the library community
insisting on this distinction. He gave the example of books.

This helped me a lot: It became clear that in a library with books
(as in any other system primarily oriented on physical objects, and
in particular on such objects existing in multiple instances), the
distinction between names and locations was quite fundamental.

However, it became also very much clearer to me (I already thought
so implicitly before) that in a web context, centered on concepts
and digital resources, where copying and moving things around is
virtually instantaneous and extremely cheap, the distinction between
names and locations is not necessary at all, and usually confuses
more than it helps.

Regards,  Martin.
Received on Monday, 19 November 2001 00:36:19 UTC

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