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Re: TAG Issue proposal: URIs should not be hierarchical

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 2006 22:45:54 -0400
To: "Fernando Franco" <avoid.spam.account@gmail.com>
Cc: "W3C-TAG" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFED7DB159.5FD35C12-ON852571D8.000E98B1-852571D8.000F30D5@lotus.com>

Fernando Franco:

> URIs are names.
> Names are not hierarchical.
> Ergo, URIs should not be hierarchical.

Well, I respectfully disagree.  In the real world, many names are 
hierarchical.   For example, my own name reflects a grouping by family 
(Mendelsohn) within which I have a given name (Noah).  I strongly suspect 
that the files on your computer have hierarchical names.  Sometimes such 
hierarchies are used in part to facilitate location of the resource, but 
in other cases merely to facilitate management of the names (my name 
doesn't do much to help you find me).

In any case, URIs are designed in part to make it easy to integrate into 
the web existing as well as new information in computer systems.  The 
hierarchical structure available for URI facilitates the mapping of 
existing hierarchical names, as well as the assignment of new ones.  Not 
all names are or need be hierarchical, but experience with systems such as 
DCE/COM/OLE that use GUIDs or UUIDs has shown that opaque monolithic names 
have disadvantages as well as advantages in terms of convenience, etc. 
Also, in practice, even GUIDs and UUIDs exhibit structure internally that 
has  degree of hierarchy (blocks of names are handed out in chunks, and 
several bits are reserved for sub-assignment within the chunks.)


Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Received on Monday, 28 August 2006 02:46:10 UTC

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