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Re: Dictionaries in the library

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000 13:56:06 -0400
Message-ID: <000001bfc36f$8dcc8400$7ca55c8b@ridge.w3.org>
To: <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>, <xml-uri@w3.org>
:-)

From: Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>


>From: Tim Berners-Lee
>Subject: Dictionares in the library
>
>> T: But Achilles, for the last time, a dictionary is NOT  A  BOOK!
>
>Hmmm.  I thought our discussion here was about much less profound matters.
>Our Tortoise says that books should reference the language they are written
>in by some unique and persistent string, whereas Achilles says they must
use
>the ISBN of the dictionary that contains their vocabulary. <grin>


Yes, I thought someone might point that out! :)  The difference of course is
between
natural languages and technical languages.  Natural languages have no single
identifier
and they morph and split - you could say that each person's linguistic
associations
are in fact unique.  Whereas the XML language for P3P does have an
identifier,
and is defined by the spec. With formally specified languages, the spec is
in 1:1 correspondence with the language.  So the analogy is not complete in
that respect.

The point of course is that namespaces should not be any specially different
from other resources.  They are resources about resources, but if you decide
that metaresources and resources are different, then you have a very weak
technical system.  "Goedel Escher, Bach" says it better than I. This is why
those appreciate a system with self-reference are relieved to see the schema
for schemas, when there never was a DTD for DTDs.

Tim BL
Received on Sunday, 21 May 2000 17:55:32 UTC

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