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Re: Strong Evidence for the Name vs. Location Distinction

From: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 15:47:51 -0500
To: Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>
Cc: ext Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>, URI <uri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <87n0x9pngo.fsf@nwalsh.com>
/ Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com> was heard to say:
| Sorry. I don't buy that. A cache is a context holding proxies for a
| locations. And in that context, the URI still denotes a location,
| but you are bypassing the direct retrieval from that location with
| the proxy location provided by the cache.


| The semantics of the URI is still a location. That "opaque string" is

This is the tricky bit. I've had enough conversations about this to
achieve a kind of understanding of the "there's no difference between
names and locations" school of thought. Well, I think it's a kind of
understanding, I could just be confused in different ways.

The sequence of characters "http://site.org/resource-i-want" can be
viewed as a name. Just like I could change my name to Cheyenne Wyoming
if I was so inclined.

The problem is that naming something (other than the city) Cheyenne
Wyoming is just begging for trouble. You're going to have all sorts of
conversations like this one:

Random Person(RP): What's your name?
Cheyenne Wyoming(CW): Cheyenne Wyoming
RP: No, I didn't ask where you live, I asked what's your name
CW: I told you, Cheyenne Wyoming
RP: Yeah, I got that, you live in Cheyenne. What's your name.
CW: No, you don't understand, my first name is Cheyenne and my last name is Wyoming.
RP: Really? Man, that must confuse everybody.
CW: Yeah, just about.

Similarly, the string 'http://site.org/resource-i-want' looks exactly like
an address. So why call it a name? Why confuse things so much?

I dunno. I don't subscribe to that school of thought.

But the semantics of a URI is not always a location.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM   | There is always some accident in the best of
XML Standards Engineer | things, whether thoughts or expressions or
XML Technology Center  | deeds. The memorable thought, the happy
Sun Microsystems, Inc. | expression, the admirable deed are only partly
                       | yours.--Thoreau
Received on Friday, 15 March 2002 15:48:37 UTC

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