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   Re: [xml-dev] URIs are simply names was: Re: [xml-dev] "Abstract" URIs

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Jonathan Borden, or the avatar of him at jborden@attbi.com, wrote:

 > A URI is simply a name for a thing, whatever that thing may be.

Fair enough.  But one and the same URI should not name two different
things.  I and my home page are two different things, with different
lifetimes, belonging to different object classes, with different
properties, with different values of the same properties.  If we
speak of Lockean identity (the identity of indiscernibles), then
my home page and I are extremely discernible, and as such,
extremely not identical.

Anyhow, I too now have a URI:


This points to a topic element in a topic map.  The subject indicators
for this topic are my home page and my two principal mailboxes.
So any topic element in any other topic map that shares at least one
of these subject indicators is also a valid URI for me.

 > URIs are names. The point being made is that what they name is NOT the
 > literal series of characters returned by a GET, rather the URI names a
 > _resource_ which might be anything thing that has a name. What is
 > returned by a GET is simply a description of the actual resource
 > (other wording is a 'representation of the resource').

Again, fair enough.  But the use of "description" is an equivoque: the
HTML you can GET from http://www.ccil.org/~cowan/ is a representation
of a certain resource of type "hyperdocument".  It is not a
representation of another resource of type "Homo sapiens".  It does not
even, as it happens, very well describe that Homo sapiens instance.

 > URIs are names.

The point is that names, to be truly useful, should not refer to
distinct referents.  It is nothing but a nuisance that "James
Carter" might refer to either a mathematician at UCLA or a former
president of the United States.

 > Jonathan (note new email address -- which refers to the same person as
 > jborden@medione.net)

Your two email addresses *refer* to distinct mailboxes: it is not all
one (at least eventually, if not immediately) whether I send mail to
jborden@medione.net or jborden@attbi.net.

They are *associated*, using any of a variety of properties such
as "mailboxOf", "ownedBy", or "subjectIndicatorOf", with you
yourself, Jonathan Borden.  What the URI of Jonathan Borden
might be, we do not yet know.  If a topic for you appeared in some topic
map, then we would have a URI for you (an XPointer into the
topic map) and a criterion for determining if other such URIs
also refer to you.

John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>     http://www.reutershealth.com
I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen,    http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith.  --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_


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