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RE: Review of draft finding on URNs, Namespaces and Registries

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 08:17:22 -0400
To: "Avoid@gmail" <avoid.spam.account@gmail.com>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFCC7B6901.C7090B6B-ON852571CB.00430FA4-852571CB.00438286@lotus.com>

Yes, naming and addressing are not the same thing and the distinction is 
important.  However,

Fernando Franco writes:

> Why should names be hierarchical, at all?

I think there are many good reasons for this, and there's a long history 
of doing it.  Names are often arranged hieararchically to make it easier 
to deal with collections, to infer from the name something about the thing 
that is named, etc.  Gee, we even in most cultures name our children 
hierarchically, with the given name in some sense a qualifier for the 
family name.  As a father, I can assure you that whatever their other 
merits, those hierarchical names are not necessarily usable as addresses 
for finding the children!

Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

"Avoid@gmail" <avoid.spam.account
Sent by: www-tag-request@w3.org
08/15/2006 07:55 AM
        To:     <www-tag@w3.org>
        cc:     (bcc: Noah Mendelsohn/Cambridge/IBM)
        Subject:        RE: Review of draft finding on URNs, Namespaces 
and Registries

David Booth writes:

>> a. In the first paragraph, I don't it's correct to say
>> that http URIs use "a hierarchical syntax for distinguishing
>> resources which share the same owner".  The syntax is just
>> the syntax specified in RFC3986.  Whether URIs within a
>> domain are treated as being hierarchical would depend on
>> the policies of the domain owner, wouldn't they?  I don't
>> think there is inherently anything hierarchical about the
>> URI syntax, though it often is convenient to treat it as
>> hierarchical.

David Orchard answers:

> 2396 etc. say that the path is hierarchical.  Period.  There are rules
> for generating absolute URIs from relative and base uris, including
> replacement of ".." with parents.

Data Stores are coming soon to end-users. Once they arrive, users will 
in terms of "things" and "relationships", instead of "files" and 
So they will think in terms of *names* instead of *adresses*, and they 
think in *flat terms* instead of *hierarchies*.

So shouldn't we, for consistency, do exactly the same with URI's? What are
exactly the reasons for people thinking of URI's as adresses instead of as
names? One is probably the word "locator" in URL. But how about their
hierarchical structure? Is that the other factor that keeps new 
making the same mistake?

If so, shouldn't we eliminate this hierarchical thing completely? Why 
names be hierarchical, at all? Does it even make sense? And since we are 
it, if all URI's are names, and not locations...why do we still have URL's
and URN's? Shouldn't we have just one class of thing, preferably with
"names" on it?

Fernando Franco
Received on Tuesday, 15 August 2006 12:17:36 UTC

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