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404 is what I expected, but you are right that it
isn't reliable. In other words, the address box reacts
to any string. urn:xx:yyy doesn't turn blue, though,
so the HTML engine doesn't see a URL.
I do count it as dereferencing if it attempts to
find something and comes back with an error message.
It makes the attempt.
The point is to write the spec in such a way as the
user doesn't get surprises. Use of HTTP in the URI
always produces a surprise. Second, if the relationship
is one to many (for any URI, there are multiple representations
that may be returned, and these should be consistent) then
the architecture can't specify other than return a consistent
error, or better, return a RDDL or catalog entry. That
isn't different from what we have now, except the emphasis
changes from "stupid user" to "lazy author".
From: Thomas B. Passin [mailto:email@example.com]
Sort of interesting to see how the different designers figured out what to
do, but I do not count any of these as dereferencing. Do you? Nor the 404
you brought into prominence.