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Re: URIs quack like a duck

From: Paul W. Abrahams <abrahams@valinet.com>
Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 14:06:05 -0400
Message-ID: <3932B18D.840C7081@valinet.com>
To: Rick JELLIFFE <ricko@geotempo.com>
CC: xml-uri@w3.org
Rick JELLIFFE wrote:

>
> > From: Paul W. Abrahams (abrahams@valinet.com)
>
> > The problem is that if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's hard to
> > prevent people from imposing duckish expectations on it.  URIs create those
> > expectations.
>
> Has anyone else been reminded through all this of Swift's School of
> Languages?
>
> The philosophers of this School declared that every word could be made
> into a noun, and that every noun had a physical object that could
> represent it, and therefore that one could get a universal language by
> using the objects directly.  If you had enough objects with you, you
> could disuss any subject: instead of needing the word "cat" you could
> grab a cat out of your bag!

Provided that the cat you are thinking of is bit-for-bit identical with the one you
pulled out of the bag.

There's an obvious problem with Swift's School, even taking it at the level of
seriousness it intended: if I show you a yellow tabby, am I intending to discuss
yellow tabby cats or cats in general?

> I am not sure whether Tim Bray's option #2 (retrieve the resource) is
> not an idea from that School. Instead of needing a very big bag, we have
> http :-)

And the problems of exhibiting a herd of elephants who are temporarily 404'd.

Paul Abrahams
Received on Monday, 29 May 2000 14:06:16 UTC

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