[sc34wg3] Subject Locators

Jan Algermissen sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Mon, 13 Jun 2005 20:09:45 +0200

On Jun 13, 2005, at 7:14 PM, Lars Marius Garshol wrote:

> * Jan Algermissen
> |
> | If you intend the semantics of your resource to be 'a fixed document
> | instantiation (bits and bytes)' then use the URI of the resource to
> | reference it. There is no point in using the URI as a subject
> | locator since the resource already represents the bits and bytes.
> You argued in earlier posts that the bits&bytes and the resource
> itself are two different things. So clearly there is a distinction to
> be made here. What's then wrong with making the distinction?
> | The whole distinction between subject locator and subject indicator
> | simply does not make sense on the Web.
> Now you really are just repeating yourself. I'd like to know *why* you
> think this.

Because on the web you only have a single addressing context. Saying  
that some
URI is a subject locator does not imply that the resource the URI  
points to is
document-like at all. IOW, you cannot alter the underlying definition  
of URI by
introducing additional addressing semantics. You seem to think that  
using a URI
as a subject locator gives you the ability to say: "this URI refers  
to a some conecpt
that is in fact a document (bits and bytes)." But the URI identifies  
what it identifies,
regardless of addressing context.

And IMHO this becomes lucidly clear once you put a URI into your  
browser's location bar
(and immediately loose any addressing conetxt) because HTTP just does  
not provide for
communicating an addressing conetxt to the server.

This doesnot mean that one cannot buildinformation system that do  
allow such destinctions. But
with HTTP you just don't get it because it has been deliberately  

> -- 
> Lars Marius Garshol, Ontopian         <URL: http://www.ontopia.net >
> GSM: +47 98 21 55 50                  <URL: http:// 
> www.garshol.priv.no >
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Jan Algermissen, Consultant & Programmer                              
Tugboat Consulting, 'Applying Web technology to enterprise IT'