W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > July 2003

Re: erratum Re: resources and URIs

From: pat hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 18:37:08 -0500
Message-Id: <p06001232bb3e328c907d@[]>
To: Michael Day <mikeday@yeslogic.com>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org

><blockquote cite="mid:p06001219bb3b24417c36@[]">
>  Well, OK yes you *could* say that. But it doesn't deal with the basic
>  point, and it stretches the notion of 'information network' to what
>  seems to me to be an absurd degree, so that almost all the
>  architectural claims no longer hold.  For example, putting a URI up
>  on a website does not "create a link to" a galaxy 100 million
>  light-years away.
>When this message hits the W3C archives on the web, does the blockquote
>create a link to the message you just sent?

I actually do not know enough about HTML to answer this, but I doubt 
it. (What is that mid:p06001219bb3b24417c36@[]   string?? 
If that is some URI scheme I am unaware of, then maybe the answer is 
yes. )

>What if it linked to a book by isbn number?


>What if the only copy of the book was 100 million light years away?

Well, how would you know if it was?  But no, with present technology.

>What if the book was pulped, and no copies remained?

Clearly no.

>If I write "10 Downing St, London" on a piece of paper, I've created a
>link that traverses the planet.

No, you have not created a link at all and no traversal has taken place.

Think about it: it that were true, then by writing "1404 West La Rua 
St., Pensacola" you would have created a link to something that does 
not exist, which is impossible.

This gets to the heart of the issue: you seem to be confusing 'link 
to' in a network-architectural sense with 'refers to' in a semantic 
sense.  Reference is not an architectural idea: it does not create 
links or travel at the speed of light.

>And yet, dereferencing the link requires
>airline tickets and jet lag.

Airline travel is not dereferencing. The world in general is not a 
computer system: words that apply to information networks are at best 
metaphors when referring to things like aircraft.

>(I love this thread, in all its futile glory :)

I hope it is not futile, as a lot of technology depends crucially on 
getting the answers right.

Pat Hayes

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Received on Friday, 18 July 2003 19:37:11 UTC

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