Houghton,Andrew writes:
 > > The problem is that, after setting up a non-dereferencable http:
 > > URI to name something like an XML namespace or a CQL context set,
 > > it's just so darned _tempting_ to put something explanatory at
 > > the location which happens to be indicated by that URI :-)
 > and that is what you are suppose to do...  Having a representation
 > of the "thing" is useful and is what makes the Web and any other
 > hypertext system useful.

No, no, no.  An identifier (when functioning as an identifier) is
useful for completely different reasons.  Dereferencing is only one of
many things you might want to do with an identifier.  More generally,
an identifier is simply a way to talk about a thing.

Having a representation of the "thing" _is_ useful, but it's what
makes <a href="..."> useful, not what makes the Web useful.  The web
is bigger and more flexibile than that.

I do take Jonathan's (and others') point that these are hard questions
to answer, and that there can be different opinions on what the
answers.  But we really should at least get the _questions_ right :-)
Identifiers identify; locations locate.

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <m...@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "Obstfledermause!  Nehmen Sie sie, so lang sie noch heiss sind!
         Sie sind lieblich" -- Andreas Pagel.

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