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Re: Strong Evidence for the Name vs. Location Distinction

From: Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 11:25:28 +0200
To: ext Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>, Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@sun.com>
CC: URI <uri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B8BE2228.111AC%patrick.stickler@nokia.com>
On 2002-03-19 21:28, "ext Mark Baker" <distobj@acm.org> wrote:

>> 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've got the Google toolbar on my browser, and just love it.  I use the
> "I'm Feeling Lucky" button often, which if you're not familiar with it,
> automatically redirects you to the top Google response for your query.
> If I enter "norm walsh" as my query term, and hit that button, I'm
> immediately taken to http://nwalsh.com/
> Is "norm walsh" an address or a name?  You use it the same way you use
> your address bar.  You can even enter a URI into it.  In fact, you could
> replace your address bar entirely, if you don't mind taking the hop to
> google.com.  IE and the Yahoo Companion IE plugin also accept query
> terms in the address bar too; they redirect them to their own search
> engines to produce a similar result to the Google toolbar.
> IMO, "name" and "address" are too roles that identifiers play.  Those
> identifiers that do not *currently* have a resolution mechanism, will
> only be usable as names.  But as soon as a resolution mechanism is
> devised, they can also be used as locators/addresses.
> MB

That's all fine and good, but I think it is important to distinguish
between semantics inherent in the identifier itself and semantics
of some application/use of the identifier.

I.e. some resolution mechanism may take the name of a non-location
resource and obtain the names of locations related in some manner
to that resource -- likely hosting representations of the resource.
But that doesn't mean the name of the non-location resource suddenly
becomes the name of a location.

Resolution mechanisms such as DDDS do not turn names of non-location
resources (URNs) into names of location resources (URLs).
Rather, they embody a multi-stage process by which a non-location
name is first mapped to a location name, and that location is
accessed in some fashion specific to the resolution mechanism,
such as retrieving a representation of the resource residing
at that location.

But the URN doesn't really become the name of a location, even
if it allows us to use it in the same manner as a URL.


Patrick Stickler              Phone: +358 50 483 9453
Senior Research Scientist     Fax:   +358 7180 35409
Nokia Research Center         Email: patrick.stickler@nokia.com
Received on Wednesday, 20 March 2002 04:23:27 UTC

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