Re: Strong Evidence for the Name vs. Location Distinction

On 2002-03-15 22:47, "ext Norman Walsh" <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM> wrote:

> / Patrick Stickler <> 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.
> Right.
> | 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 "" 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 '' looks exactly like
> an address. So why call it a name? Why confuse things so much?

Exactly ;-)

And the same kind of confusion arises when folks use e.g. mailto: URIs
to denote people and http: URIs containing only the web authority portion
to denote companies, etc.

Folks clicking around in browsers may be able to live with a certain
degree of confusion of that sort, but SW agents trying to infer things
about the world will be woefully handicapped by such "sloppy knowledge".

> I dunno. I don't subscribe to that school of thought.
> But the semantics of a URI is not always a location.

I didn't say the semantics of every *URI* is always a location,
I said that an 'http:' URL always is (or should be) the name of a
location. There's a bit of a difference, I think, between the
two claims ;-)



Patrick Stickler              Phone: +358 50 483 9453
Senior Research Scientist     Fax:   +358 7180 35409
Nokia Research Center         Email:

Received on Tuesday, 19 March 2002 07:15:15 UTC