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

Re: resources and URIs

From: pat hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 18:45:49 -0500
Message-Id: <p06001a0abb4228bdd8a1@[]>
To: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Cc: Michael Mealling <michael@neonym.net>, www-tag@w3.org

>pat hayes wrote:
>>>They don't exist on the Web till they have a URI.  What's 
>>>controversial about that?
>>Well, maybe nothing.  What does 'exist on the Web' mean?
>"Exists on the Web" means "has a URI".

OK, so what you said earlier was that they don't have a URI until 
they have a URI. Hard to argue with that, I concede. Is that the sum 
total of this debate?

A question.  Saying "has a URI" sounds like that there has to be 
something that is doing the having. Is that right? Or could there be 
a URI which wasn't had by anything? For example

>>What is the difference between "exists" and "exists on the Web" ? 
>>Are these related in any way? I guess I find it odd to talk of 
>>something being brought into (any kind of) existence by something 
>>that happens on the Web.
>"Exists on the Web" is condition in the Web Architecture's formalism 
>that arises as a consequence of having a URI.  This condition's 
>intersection with the real-world phenomenon of the same name is an 
>interesting problem, but (I think) not one that we need to address.

Well, I do need to address it, as soon as possible.  But that is 
fine: I don't mean to burden y'all with my problems.

>>I take existence to mean actual existence, right? Being something 
>>in the actual world, as in "Sherlock Holmes does not exist".
>Not at all.  This is a formalism.

I am now at a loss how to proceed.  I thought we were talking about 
reference and existence, but apparently we were at cross purposes.

If we aren't talking about existence, could I simply ask y'all to 
please avoid the use of the word "exists" and its cognates, then, if 
you possibly could manage to do so? It is hard to imagine a word more 
likely to cause semantic problems when used casually or carelessly.


Pat Hayes

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Received on Monday, 21 July 2003 19:45:52 UTC

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