Re: infoURI standard officially blessed

From: Alf Eaton <>
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2005 16:27:08 -0500

On 15 Nov 2005, at 08:51, Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

> Alf Eaton wrote:
>> Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
>>> I'd much rather invest on automatically dereferenceable URIs now
>>> and avoid paying the discoverability price (not only the
>>> technical one but also the social one!) later on.
>> Stefano,
>> Just as example, which dereferenceable URI would you use for the
>> book "The History of Love", ISBN 0393060349, so that everybody
>> would be able to use that URI as an identifier for that book?

I was thinking about this again today, while reading Tim Berners-
Lee's essay "What do HTTP URI's identify?" <
DesignIssues/HTTP-URI.html>. Now, I don't know if he still stands by
this point of view, but his point as I understand it is that HTTP
URIs are designed to identify documents, rather than abstract (or
physical) concepts - one conclusion being "the idea that a URI
identifies the thing the document is about doesn't work because we
can only use a URI to identify one thing and we have and already do
use it to identify documents on the web.". This is also what I like
about info URIs, where, for example, uri:info:pmid/16286011
identifies the abstract concept of a particular scientific paper,
rather than
cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16286011 which
produces a document with information *about* the paper.

That particular example is complicated by DOIs, where http:// can produce a representation of the paper
which is in fact the same thing represented by uri:info:doi/example/
1111111, but this only works for examples where the object being
referenced is available in its entirety in a digital form. It doesn't
work for cars, for example (as in Tim BL's example), or holiday
resorts, or restaurants. In those cases, it seems more appropriate to
use an identifier which *isn't* HTTP.

In your example above, points to a
document *about* the book, but it doesn't point to the book itself.

Received on Sun Nov 20 2005 - 21:21:07 EST

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