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Re: lack of consensus on httpRange-14

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2002 18:06:33 -0400
Message-ID: <074e01c26e4d$cc4ef920$0301a8c0@w3.org>
To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>, "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
To: "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2002 1:17 PM
Subject: Re: lack of consensus on httpRange-14

> Dan Connolly writes:
> > > I'm not sure that "lack of consensus" is an appropriate reason to
> > > de-prioritize an issue which (at least from my perspective) lies at
> > >  the heart of an enormous number of conflicts regarding the proper
> > > use of URIs.
> > 
> > Such as ...?
> Well, to put it bluntly, that a lot of people see the "car" model for
> URIs as outright ridiculous, 
> and that the "resource is that which is
> identified by and identifier which is that which identifies a resource"
> gets thoroughly mangled through magical uses of # at the end of the
> identifier.

I will just respond to the use of the word "magic".

I would draw an analogy, for adding a "#" to http://example.net/foo
with adding a ":143" to  "imap.example.com".

One can use strings like "imap.example.com" to identify
hosts on the Internet.  One can use strings like
"imap.example.com:143" to identify a TCP port.
IP hosts and TCP ports are *quite* distinct and different things.
They refer to completely different specs (TCP as opposed to IP).
If that to you is magic, then the ":" is indeed magic.

So, yes the "#" is magic in that it takes a string whose referent is
defined by the HTTP spec to something whose referent is not
defined by the HTTP spec.  It is not magic in that the URI specs
have always explained this.  

Two things are more difficult with "#", as used by RDF.

One is that RDF can use strings like
http://www.example.com/foo#id2318956 in processing without
ever doing an HTTP operations.

The other is the fact that while ":"   jumps from internet hosts to
TCP ports, the "#" can jump from network objects we all
know and love into abstract space, which is more of a conceptual

But would you have it any other way?  Would you prevent someone
from designing a language which talks about conceptual things?
Or would you prevent someone from putting documents written in
that language on the web?  Or would you not want them to be able
to use the URI system to identify globally the local identifiers used
within that document?

Received on Monday, 7 October 2002 18:06:34 UTC

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