SAX: ModSAX addition, general property query

Dan Brickley Daniel.Brickley at
Tue Mar 9 10:25:49 GMT 1999

On Tue, 9 Mar 1999, Kay Michael wrote:

> > I've been thinking about this issue, and I'm fairly convinced 
> > that the URI is the right choice.
> > 
> > Think of the URI a statement of ownership.  Assume that my ISP is
> >, and that I've been allocated 5MB of web space at
> >
> > 
> I don't often disagree with David, but I think this is quite misguided.
> If we're only after a unique identifier we could use the longitude and
> latitude of the house where I live. 

Great. Why not propose a URI scheme for it? (although this would also
confuse people as a place is something you'd look up on a map, not a
software feature.)

		In fact that would be better, because it
> identifies a unique place, whereas the "http:" idea also says you can get
> there by bus and the buses are run by the bus company: in fact it
> invites you to "click here" to jump on the bus. But if you get on the bus
> and ask for the destination the driver will tell you "Never heard of it,
> guv."
> And of course it ignores the fact that you can have two buses going to the
> same place from different directions.

The URI spec very clearly does not ignore this point.

>From RFC 2396 again... (

	1.2. URI, URL, and URN
    A URI can be further classified as a locator, a name, or both.  The
   term "Uniform Resource Locator" (URL) refers to the subset of URI
   that identify resources via a representation of their primary access
   mechanism (e.g., their network "location"), rather than identifying
   the resource by name or by some other attribute(s) of that resource.
    Although many URL schemes are named after protocols, this does not
   imply that the only way to access the URL's resource is via the named
   protocol.  Gateways, proxies, caches, and name resolution services
   might be used to access some resources, independent of the protocol
   of their origin, and the resolution of some URL may require the use
   of more than one protocol (e.g., both DNS and HTTP are typically used
   to access an "http" URL's resource when it can't be found in a local

> Just because Namespaces made this mistake (and confused all newbies by doing
> so) doesn't mean we have to as well.

Making the same mistake as the rest of the world has its benefits
though: if we use URIs for ModSAX features, we get for free any progress
on better naming infrastructure (URNs, metadata, resolution infrastructure
layered over the Web caching network etc). If we invent another a
nameless, specless naming system, we're on our own.


Daniel.Brickley at               
Institute for Learning and Research Technology
University of Bristol,  Bristol BS8 1TN, UK.   phone:+44(0)117-9288478

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