W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > September 2003

Are we losing the plot?

From: Hammond, Tony (ELSLON) <T.Hammond@elsevier.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 16:18:35 +0100
Message-ID: <54A600C436EA694581B93E4BD4D4788A07E2F4D2@elslonexc004.eslo.co.uk>
To: Larry Masinter <LMM@acm.org>, "'Williams, Stuart'" <skw@hp.com>
Cc: uri@w3.org, urn-nid@lists.verisignlabs.com, leslie@thinkingcat.com, thiemann@acm.org


(was "RE: URNs for 'naming authority assignment', not 'permanent'")

> URIs are protocol elements intended for communication.

Really? Did the authors of RFC 2396 (and RFC 2396 bis) intend that reading?

> To be useful, the definition of the URI scheme should
> tell the receiver of a URI what resource the URI identifies.

What does "useful" mean in this context? I also really don't understand what
the rest of this sentence means.

> When you define a URI scheme, you are expected to define the
> access semantics of the scheme -- how it is that a receiver
> of a URI in the scheme is supposed determine the resource
> that the URI identifies.

Surely a reciever can only be dereferenced to a representation - and not to
a resource? According to RFC 2396 a resource is any thing that can be
referenced by an identifier. 

I guess I need to ask the question, what is the sphere of application for
URI? Is it for the Web as a discrete hypermedia application where URIs are
strictly /document/ identifiers? Or is it for the Web as the global
infospace, where URIs are used for making assertions about identified
constructs.  Since URI is widely perceived as the "XML" (lingua franca) for
identification systems, in providing a common syntax, semantics and language
for discussing identifier-related constructs, it is vital that the scope of
URIs is properly articulated.

There's a clear need at this time to scope the sphere of application for URI
before we can even begin to propose new schemes for registration within the
URI allocation.

Ad hoc revisionism is not helpful to anyone and can only stifle development
of applications that will contribute to the semantic web.

We must collectively agree the scope of URI if it is to have any meaning and
coherency.

Tony
Received on Wednesday, 17 September 2003 11:18:58 UTC

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