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Question re: URIs

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 2003 21:33:58 +0100
Cc: uri@w3.org
To: www-talk@w3.org
Message-Id: <7174D2E0-E0A9-11D7-B6B6-00039396E15A@mnot.net>

[ I've cc:d uri@w3.org because I suspect there may be more diversity of 
input there, but have set replies to www-talk@w3.org, as this is 
probably out of scope for discussion on the URI list. ]

I've been reading through most of the fun little brawl that happened on 
uri@w3.org in July when catching up on my mail (yes, I'm behind).

It seems to me that there are two possible views of the relationship 
between URIs and their associated resources;

* Many-to-One - that is, it's possible for many URIs to identify the 
same resource. In this view, it may be helpful to think of URIs as 
identifying *interfaces* to resources, rather than resources 
themselves; i.e., if one asserts that two URIs identify the same 
resource, it really is the same resource.

* One-to-One - that is, each URI identifies a separate resource, and 
one can only assert that the resources they identify are identical in 
every measurable way, but not the same resource.

Please note that I'm not saying that in either there's any defined way 
of looking at URIs and determining the relationships between the 
interfaces that they identify. One could, of course, come up with a 
format that allowed such relationships to be described and advertised 
by their authorities...

It's a fairly fine distinction, I know, but I'm not sure that it's 
universally agreed to. What do people think? I'm interested to see if 
there are substantial differences in the URI, REST, Web architecture 
and Semantic Web communities.


Mark Nottingham     http://www.mnot.net/
Received on Sunday, 7 September 2003 15:58:54 UTC

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