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Re: 2.3 URI Ambiguity

From: Ian B. Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2003 11:31:53 -0500
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Cc: Walden Mathews <waldenm@optonline.net>, www-tag@w3.org, "Williams, Stuart" <skw@hp.com>, Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Message-Id: <1070382712.16926.57.camel@seabright>
On Tue, 2003-12-02 at 10:39, Tim Berners-Lee wrote:
> On Dec 1, 2003, at 14:15, Walden Mathews wrote:
> > It seems to me that the Architecture of the World Wide Web
> > has to make a decision as to whether there is such a thing as
> > indirect identification at the architecture level, and if so formalize
> > what that is.
> The problem was just that when we said "only use URI to identify the 
> one thing", a lot of people responded with a counter-example of the 
> person "identified" by their mailbox.  So the counter-example was only 
> in so as to say, "No, we don't mean that".   If we have to formalize 
> everything that we don't mean, then we would end up  extending the 
> architecture document indefinitely!
> The only way i can think of of making it clearer is to use say NTriples.

What about something like this:

  "In Web architecture, URIs identify resources. Outside of Web 
   architecture, the URI string can be useful in any number of
   roles (e.g., as database keys), including as identifiers. For 
   instance, "mailto:nadia@example.com" can be used by the organizers 
   of a conference as an identifier for Nadia; parties involved in 
   the context understand and agree to that local policy. Certain
   properties of URI strings in the Web architecture, such as their
   potential for uniqueness, make them appealing for non-Web contexts. 
   In the Web architecture, "mailto:nadia@example.com" only
   identifies an Internet mailbox. The URI is not ambiguous within
   the Web architecture merely because the URI string serves different
   roles in other contexts. URI ambiguity arises when an agent uses
   the same URI to identify two different *Web* resources.

Notice there is no use of the phrase "indirect identification".

 _ Ian

Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                     +1 718 260-9447

Received on Tuesday, 2 December 2003 11:31:54 UTC

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