Overloaded URIs (was Re: XLink: behavior must go!)

Chris Lilley chris at w3.org
Sat Jun 5 14:42:23 BST 1999

Paul Prescod wrote:
> James Tauber wrote:
> >
> > 1. Namespace URIs don't have to point to anything retrievable, they are just
> > unique identifiers
> > 2. Some URI schemes might not be web-retrievable (eg "isbn:1-23456-789-0")
> > 3. Some URI schemes *are* web-retrievable (eg http://www.megginson.com/ns/)
> > 4. So namespaces URIs *can* point to something, though, such as a
> > human-readable description of the namespace, if they use a URI scheme that
> > is web-retrievable.
> It strikes me as clearly poor design to use an HTTP url for something not
> retrievable by the HTTP protocol. 

It would be, but no such examples were given.

I suspect that the "isbn" protocol example would be better written
urn:isbn:whatever - but regardless, it did not claim to be using the
http protocol

> I am distressed that this is becoming
> "standard practice." How the heck are we supposed to know, on seeing a URI
> whether it is supposed to be retrievable or not?

Look at the protocol part and see if you understand that protocol.


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