W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > December 2007

Re: URIs & Namespaces

From: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 15:44:20 -0500
To: Erik Wilde <dret@berkeley.edu>
Cc: uri@w3.org, John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>, Sean Reilly <sreilly@cnri.reston.va.us>, Mike Schinkel <mikeschinkel@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <20071211204420.GE27051@mercury.ccil.org>

Erik Wilde scripsit:

> that's like the magicmail.org. if almost by definition you say not to 
> access the http server and there are some fixed semantics to the uris in 
> this domain, why bind all of that to something as fleeting as a 
> registered domain name that belongs to somebody and, to understand this 
> magic domain, has to be hardcoded or configured into any software 
> processing these uris?

On the contrary, I *do* say to access the HTTP server if you want to
know what's going on.  If you merely want to understand names, however,
you don't need to access it: you can recognize the meaning of the URI

> i really don't see the huge advantage in that, apart from that one thing:
> - magicmail.org or geo.example.com could set up a web page that informed 
> people about the semantics that are built into the domain name. to be 
> able to use the uris, you must then understand and implement the 
> semantics, and associate them with the domain name.


> What that saves you, 
> essentially, is looking that up in the iana uri scheme registry (where 
> you would have to go if you encountered an unknown uri scheme).

That would be fine if there were any such reliable registry.  There isn't.

> all other things are exactly the same. nobody can make complexity go 
> away, you can just push it around. i want to push it into a new uri 
> scheme, you want to push it into some http-prefixed prefix. the real 
> complexity of understanding the identifiers and acting upon them is 
> something that has to be implemented in both scenarios.

Quite so.  But the added improvement to interop by using http URLs, plus
the lower deployment costs (getting new schemes into browsers worldwide
is no trivial affair), are a small but noticeable improvement.

Nobody can make dirt go away either, but by pushing it around on a
large enough scale you can arrange that "every valley shall be exalted,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be
made straight, and the rough places plain" (Isaiah 40:4 and an aria from
Handel's _Messiah_, with the compliments of the season).

John Cowan  cowan@ccil.org  http://ccil.org/~cowan
If I have seen farther than others, it is because I am surrounded by dwarves.
        --Murray Gell-Mann
Received on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 20:44:45 UTC

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