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Re: httpRange-14

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 08:25:54 -0400
Message-Id: <200307291225.h6TCPsVq025050@roke.hawke.org>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@apache.org>
cc: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>, www-tag@w3.org

>                                                [The] mailto [scheme]
> is a means for obtaining a pre-filled composition for Internet mail.
> mailto does not contain a naming authority -- at most it contains a
> mailbox address (not necessarily qualified with a DNS domain) and a
> set of field=value pairs for establishing the content of a message.
> SMTP is not identified -- it is left to the user agent configuration
> to determine how the message should be transferred.  It isn't possible
> to follow that specification and claim that mailto == mailbox.

Indeed.   Looking over RFC 2368 [1] I see examples like:


which competes with URIs like


for confounding attempts to think about what "resource" is
"identified".  Of course, they make perfect sense to me as a user or
implementer, but I have no idea how to talk about them sensibly using
the terms and models in RFC 2396bis [2].  They look a lot more like
programs to run than "identifiers".  Help!?

>                            Find another solution to your problem,
> preferably one that doesn't run counter to the established design
> principles that we have worked with for over a decade.

I wonder, again, at the oddness of using URIs as we have been in RDF.
Simply using mintable strings as logical constant symbol names seems
to avoid so many complications:

   <<2003-07,sandro@w3.org,FOO>> a foafx:Person.
   <<2003-07,sandro@w3.org,FOO>> foafx:homepage "http://hawke.org/sandro".

The cost is that you can't paste that <<...>> term directly into a
browser's address field (but of course that's iffy with RDF as it is,
given content negotiation, etc), and more importantly automated agents
can't as often start spidering out for more information.  There would
be fewer self-answering questions [3] this way.  But it might well be
worth it, to avoid this whole ... issue.

Of course, RDF is *not* specified this way.  It says "use URIs".  The
workaround is to define a URI scheme with no retreival mechanism.
That of course is the motivation for my tag: URI scheme [4], first
proposed about two months after I really looked at RDF.  Since then
I've been struggling with whether the benefits of retreival (as above)
are really worth it.  (And also with how to explain it to the IETF,
although there seems to have been some recent progress.)

     -- sandro

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2003Jul/0384.html
[2] http://www.apache.org/~fielding/uri/rev-2002/rfc2396bis.html
[3] http://esw.w3.org/topic/SelfAnsweringQuestion
[4] http://taguri.org
Received on Tuesday, 29 July 2003 08:25:58 UTC

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