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Re: Using fragment identifiers with URNs

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@ebuilt.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 15:13:56 -0700
To: Stephen Cranefield <SCranefield@infoscience.otago.ac.nz>
Cc: "'uri@w3.org'" <uri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20010927151356.A1889@waka.ebuilt.net>
> retrieval operation.  If it were possible to have a URN scheme for
> which retrieval was not meaningful (and I still haven't seen any
> official document that answers this one way or another) then the
> above paragraph wouldn't apply to URI references using that scheme
> (and my interpretation would be that such URI references are not
> meaningful).

It is impossible to define a name that cannot be used for retrieval.
The act of identifying has no responsibility for how that identifier is used.
I doesn't matter what a given URN nid may claim about the properties of
an identifier in its namespace, the act of assigning a name provides the
world with an identifier that might be used by some system somewhere, through
some unknown number of indirect or redirected resolutions, to perform a
retrieval of a representation of the concept identified by that name.

It is therefore never correct to say that a fragment is scheme-dependent,
even though there are some schemes that identify resources for which no
representation is ever suitable for fragment references when those
references are made within the Web system.

To correct an earlier statement, both the mailto and telnet schemes, when
used in Web browsers, are operated upon using GET semantics -- the resulting
retrieval is a form for composing a mail message or an application with an
open session.

The author of a URI-reference is the only person who gets to decide whether
or not a fragment is applicable.  It would be wrong for the protocol standard
to say anything more.

....Roy
Received on Thursday, 27 September 2001 18:16:13 UTC

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