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Re: Concern with URI normalization text; proposed change

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2004 19:20:33 -0700
Cc: <uri@w3.org>, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, "Jeremy Carroll" <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
To: Graham Klyne <gk@ninebynine.org>
Message-Id: <FBD70595-8770-11D8-8F2D-000393753936@gbiv.com>

On Thursday, February 19, 2004, at 03:36  PM, Graham Klyne wrote:
> Further to my earlier message [1], I've discussed the issue of URI 
> normalization with some colleagues and we'd like to propose the 
> following small change of wording with respect to [2].
>
> ...
>
> Section 6.1, para 2, final sentence:
>
> The suggested change is to this sentence:
> [[
> Therefore, comparison methods are designed to minimize false negatives 
> while strictly avoiding false positives.
> ]]
>
> To be:
> [[
> Therefore, comparison methods are designed to minimize false negatives 
> while strictly avoiding false positives when used for purposes of 
> retrieval.
> ]]
>
> Rationale:
>
> This reinforces the earlier comment that "URI comparison is performed 
> in respect to some particular purpose" [section 6 intro], and I think 
> provides the necessary get-out for those purposes other than retrieval 
> for which the normalization processes described can result in false 
> URI-equivalence (i.e. in circumstances where existing applications may 
> legitimately deliver differing results).

Umm, no.  Aside from being difficult to understand due to the trailing
qualifier, it is factually incorrect.  URI comparison has nothing
to do with retrieval.  False negatives are false regardless of purpose.
The purpose being discussed before that is the goal for which the
cost/benefit trade-off is balanced, which could be different for each
of a hundred different types of retrieval.

....Roy
Received on Monday, 5 April 2004 22:20:48 UTC

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