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   Re: Namespace URI address resources

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  • From: Dan Brickley <Daniel.Brickley@bristol.ac.uk>
  • To: 'XML Dev' <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 23:37:42 +0100 (BST)

On Mon, 31 May 1999, Paul Prescod wrote:

> Tim Bray wrote:
> > 
> > No, that's not a "formal logic" change, that's a huge basic semantic
> > change.  If the IETF had wanted to forbid people using these for
> > other purposes, they should say so.  
> Okay, fine:
> "A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is a compact string of characters for
> identifying an abstract or physical resource."
> Normatively referenced RFC 2396: http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2396.html
> You can also read the section that begins "URI are characterized by the
> following definitions."
> Paul's Fudamantal Law of URIs (PFLU): If a string does not identify a
> resource then it not a URI.

A string can be 'for' identifying an (abstract or physical) resource
without any URI-string to resource bindings currently being in effect.

<URI:urn:fictional:purl.org/net/danbri:pagesonmysiteaboutsociology> for
example, might be a URI whose purpose is to identify an abstract
resource which is a set of documents on my server about a specific
topic. This seems a reasonable use of an identifier. Seems odd to say
that the string stops being a URI for those periods when no documents 
fall into the appropriate category.

BTW this has all been much discussed on the WebDAV WG recently.
See archives at http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/1999AprJun/
for details, in particular the BIND Proposal thread.

In general, I see no problem with a server managing a resource but (at
some point in time) there being no generally agreed binding from a URI
to that resource. At other points in time there might be several. The
would-be-indentifying string remains a URI regardless.


> "A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is a compact string of characters for
> identifying an abstract or physical resource."

...read "string of characters _which_ identify an..." the situation
would be different. As things stand the definition is about intent, not
whether the URI does currently identify any resources.


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