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   Re: [xml-dev] URIs and Names on the Web

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10/28/2002 11:36:25 AM, "Jonathan Borden" <jborden@attbi.com> wrote:

>To summarize, there have been a few different suggested ways of naming
>things on the Web:
>1) Use HTTP URIs to name whatever (i.e. the range of http is not limited to
>2) Use HTTP URIs to name documents, but name arbitrary things as fragments
>of the document e.g. use HTTP URI _references_ to name whatever
>3) Use URNs to name whatever
>4) Use new top level schemes to name each new class of resource

How about

5) Use HTTP URIs to identify representations of resources that are 
retrieveable by HTTP, use URN URIs or a single new top level scheme
(abst: or whatever) to identify abstract resources that can be named
and discussed but not retrieved?

>1) It has been said that people will get confused if HTTP URIs are used to
>name things other than documents, i.e. that the HTTP scheme should be
>restricted to resources that are documents.

Mass confusion seems to be an unassailable empirical fact, not a conjecture!

>3) URNs aren't widely used, and I can't easily publish my names using URNs

I don't understand ... URNs are URIs, why can't you publish a URN rather than
a URI in directories, ontologies, etc.?

>4) It is essentially impossible for me to create a new top level scheme and
>to widely deploy software that implements a new protocol designed for that

Widely deployed software only knows about concrete representations not 
abstractions.  I just don't understand why  abstract resources need
protocols that understand them.  

>I am looking for good, compelling, arguments that help me distinguish
>between (1) and (2) but these arguments shouldn't just repeat (endlessly)
>the positions, these positions are well known.

I must admit that this is all beginning to remind my of (what little I know)
of the early Christian theological disputes over the nature of the Trinity.
"Is is three aspects of one Being, or three Beings with one aspect... Or maybe
there's only one Being after all ..."  I had a history professor  who went 
around the room  seeking professed Christians (this was in Grand Rapids MI, 
so they weren't hard to find) who could explain how this was all resolved. 
A number were rather shocked to find that what they THOUGHT was orthodoxy
was actually darkest heresy, profession of which would get one burned, 
massacred, or exiled in earlier centuries. 

So, assuming that we aren't going to hold a Council to decide the issue and
then slaughter those who don't agree to go along with the victors :~) perhaps
the best solution is to look for new options.  Or wait for someone to achieve 
Enlightenment, build a Semantic Web that actually does something useful, 
and learn from their experience.

Sigh, I should just retreat to my hermitage or Bodhi tree or bunker 
and shut up ...I don't really claim to understand this.  


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