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   RE: Paul has volunteered (was Re: Overloaded URIs must GO!)

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  • From: "Didier PH Martin" <martind@netfolder.com>
  • To: "Tim Bray" <tbray@textuality.com>, "Paul Prescod" <paul@prescod.net>, "'XML Dev'" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 15:07:10 -0400

Hi Tim,

Tim said:
No.  The IETF docs explain how a URI may be used to reference a resource
on the Web.  They further say that URIs are in fact designed to facilitate
this process.  There is nothing in there I've seen stating that they *must*
be so used, nor that they may not be used for other purposes.  Or am
I missing something? -Tim

Didier says:
Here we are. I remember a good discussion (within IETF groups) we got about
URIs and a lack of a RFC explaining the role of each. We didn't reached
consensus and the result today... we are right in the problem :-))

I remember that the main point is the name. Read attentively the following

U_niversal R_esource L_ocator

The name itself self describe in the sense that it is used to express a
location, a "place".

At contrario, a

U_niversal R_esource N_ame

Is a "name".

The former explicitely contains the meaning of a location. The latter the
explicitely the meaning of a "name" and not of a location. For instance, I
may use the URN convention to express the inventory record identifiers or as
identifier for some collection organized in a typical name space.

There is no intrinsic problem, per se, with calling a car a spoon, it is
simply inconvenient when we want to ask to fill our "spoon" with gas :-))).
Just imagine yourself having to answer to a newby that the Universal
Resource Locator do not indicate a location.

But, if we want to express a location with a URL, its made for this. So, if
the name space reference uses a URL and that no document is at the other
end, it is like a 404 error (in the case of the HTTP protocol). Or like
having a rendez-vous but nobody came to it :-)

Didier PH Martin

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