W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > July 2002

RE: TB16 Re: Comments on arch doc draft

From: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 09:50:34 -0700
Message-ID: <4F4182C71C1FDD4BA0937A7EB7B8B4C105BA23EE@red-msg-08.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "Jonathan Borden" <jonathan@openhealth.org>, "Patrick Stickler" <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>, "ext Tim Bray" <tbray@textuality.com>, "WWW TAG" <www-tag@w3.org>

> > of an abstract resource. Similarly, a namespace is an abstract
> > resource, and thus, if a URL is used for the namespace name,
> > having it resolve to anything is IMO a bug, just as for any
> > abstract resource.
> This argument is a wonderful example for which the phrase "begging the
> question" is properly applied. Such perfectly circular examples are

No, it is another good explanation of why many people disdain the use of
http: URLs as namespace names.  Patrick is pointing out that gratuitous
overloading of URL schemes is poison to the wells.

There are certain people (I assume yourself included?) who feel that
URIs identify *nothing*, unless they are accompanied with ontology
information; and say that therefore it is smart to use http: URLs to
identify cars and butterflies, since "lots of people know how to
dereference http: URLs".

But if we buy this specious logic, then we might as well reduce the
English language to one word.  Nobody can deny that "bad" can mean
"good", if caveated with "bad in the Michael Jackson sense" -- anything
can mean anything else if decorated with enough caveats.  If "bad" can
mean "good", why not let "bad" mean "car", and "butterfly" as well?

Of course, some people find it difficult to pronounce the word "bad", so
let's instead use "mama" as our single word.  "Mama" will serve all of
our needs, because all words are meaningless unless caveated anyway (so
caveats are unavoidable), and lots of people know how to pronounce

Most people (including me) think that http: scheme URIs should be used
for WEB PAGES.  Even Paul Prescod would agree that http: scheme URIs
should be used exclusively for resources which are interacted with
through the standard HTTP verbs.

I'm aware that some people disagree, and I'm not trying to marginalize
that other viewpoint.  But I hope people reading this can see that
Patrick's argument is simply one side to a debate that is unlikely to go
away, and certainly wouldn't be dismissed by saying it is "circular".
Let's just acknowledge that there are (at least) two opposing viewpoints
WRT the *wisdom* of overloading http: URIs, and resolving the
fundamental disagreement isn't a necessary step toward getting the
*namespaces* issue settled. 
Received on Wednesday, 3 July 2002 12:51:06 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 22:55:52 UTC