Namespace URI address resources

W. Eliot Kimber eliot at
Mon Jun 14 10:26:40 BST 1999

Didier PH Martin wrote:

> Didier says:
> Exactly. A URI represent something. It is a U_niform R_esource I_dentifier.
> It provides identitity to a resource.

No, a URI does *not* provide identity to a resource--it *identifies* a resource,
but it does not provide identity for the resource. That is, given two different
URIs, you cannot know, from the URIs alone, whether they identify the same
resource or a different resource. This is because the same resource can be
identified by many different URIs, just as a human can have many different

Unless the URI *is* the resource, it does not establish identity of the resource
it addresses.

And note that identity can only be truly established at a specific point in
time. The same URI resolved at two different points in time may resolve to
provably different resources.



<address HyTime="bibloc">
W. Eliot Kimber, Senior Consulting SGML Engineer
ISOGEN International Corp.  eliot at
2200 N. Lamar St, #230, Dallas, TX 75202

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