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Bristol action: Massage paragraphs about persistency in 2.6.

From: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 11:46:06 -0400
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-id: <87ekx5qnr5.fsf@nwalsh.com>

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Here's my attempt, but I found it fairly difficult. I like this text
better than the original, but others may not.

Ambiguity arises when the same URI is used to identify two different
resources. Consider the following scenario: One division of a company
maintains data about Web pages, including who created them and when.
This division naturally uses the URI of the page to identify it.
Another division of the company maintains data about corporations,
including who created them and when. They use the URI of the
corporation's home page to identify it.

If the two divisions decide to merge their data, they will have to
exercise care or the fact that they are using the same URIs to
identify two different things will cause problems.

Ambiguity is an error and should not be confused with indirect
identification. Indirect identification occurs when a resource is
identified through another resource to which it has a known
relationship. For example, people can be identified by their email
addresses or organizations by their web pages. When conference
organizers ask meeting participants to register by giving their email
addresses, both parties know that they are using the mailbox
identifier to indirectly identify the person. The URI
"mailto:joe@example.com" still identifies the mailbox, not the person.

URI ambiguity should not be confused with ambiguity in natural
languages. The natural language statement
"'http://www.example.com/moby' identifies 'Moby Dick'" is ambiguous
because one could understand the statement to refer to very distinct
resources: a particular printing of this work, or the work itself in
an abstract sense, or the fictional white whale, or a particular copy
of the book on the shelves of a library (via the Web interface of the
library's online catalog), or the record in the library's electronic
catalog which contains the metadata about the work, or the Gutenberg
project's online version.

URI ambiguity only arises if different parties believe that
"http://www.example.com/moby" identifies different things.

                                        Be seeing you,

- -- 
Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM    | Men are generally idle, and ready to satisfy
XML Standards Architect | themselves, and intimidate the industry of
Web Tech. and Standards | others, by calling that impossible which is
Sun Microsystems, Inc.  | only difficult.--Samuel Johnson
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Received on Wednesday, 22 October 2003 11:46:19 UTC

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