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You are dropping into a dark hole of philosophy.
That's why you will never be able to prove
"The Web" exists. You will enumerate qualities,
and someone will debate that is the True Web,
and someone else will offer tests. At the end
of the day, it will be an elephant and you will
be blind. Identity is not existence.
Identity is a process output, not a quality that
exists a priori. In all systems that rely on it,
we have to discuss the identification process
because it has to be reestablished in some cases
particularly if the thing changes location.
Try moving prisoners from jails to courts and
you'll see why this is a problem. An ID card
is not enough. Heck, a tattoo won't even do.
But that and empirical observation (tracking)
is what we finally settle on.
From: Mark Baker [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2002 3:26 PM
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Re: Why REST? (RE: [xml-dev] WSIO- With Name)
> Let us define a subject as anything that can be talked about. Then
> subjects come in two flavors: those which are resources (with native
> URIs) and those which aren't. The W3C home page is a resource, the
> W3C is not. They have different properties and can't be blindly identified.
This is not a definition of "resource" that I am familiar with. RFC
2396 says (authoritatively);
"A resource can be anything that has identity."
The W3C has identity, as does its web page. So both are resources, and
can therefore be identified by URIs. Moreover, they can both be
identified by HTTP URIs, because HTTP semantics are also defined to
operate on anything with identity.