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RE: fragment prose proposal

From: Graham Klyne <gk@ninebynine.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 19:23:03 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: "Hammond, Tony (ELSLON)" <T.Hammond@elsevier.com>, uri@w3.org

At 13:54 27/02/04 +0000, Hammond, Tony (ELSLON) wrote:
>Might it be impertinent to suggest that these document represent a legacy
>view on the function of fragment identifiers in URIs?

Er, yes, I think you're right about the legacy viewpoint.

>The INFO case may be instructive wrt the roll of media types since there are
>no representations that can be retrieved and hence, apparently, no media
>type that can be associated with the fragment identifier (unless there be
>some null media type).

In the work on RDF, we (mea culpa) used the artifice of a notionally 
retrievable RDF representation to explain the use of fragids as part of RDF 
identifiers.  This kind-of breaks down in the face of a URI for which there 
is no retrievable representation.

I think my problem here is that I don't believe there's any such 
thing.  Some time ago, thinking about URLs and URIs, I came to the 
conclusion that any locator can be used as an identifier (obvious, I 
think), and given a suitable infrastructure, any identifier can be used as 
a locator.  Nothing since has served to shake my confidence in this view, 
though I haven't always been able to convince others of it's correctness.

So even if you assert that the resource identified by a given URI has no 
retrievable representation, I think it's fairly trivial to construct an 
environment in which there *is* a retrievable representation for what that 
URI denotes (unless its denotation is so obscure as to defy having any 
reasonable representation, but that doesn't seem very useful to me).

In such an environment, I'm not sure that it is at all meaningful to employ 
a fragment identifier at all.  (Reminds me of: "Doctor, it hurts when I do 
<this>".  "Then don't do <this>".)

(Which I think is the point of Martin's message at:


Graham Klyne
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Received on Friday, 27 February 2004 14:31:29 UTC

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