Subject: Editorial change: "non-resolution" to "self-reference"
As we continue to prepare the final working draft (now slated to be 09 after Gabe's posting of 08 today), I'd like to put to rest a lingering terminology issue: the term "non-resolvable". We have found numerous times now that this term creates confusion because, as Gabe says, what we really mean when we use it to describe an XRI is "not-to-be-resolved". In other words, "non-resolvable" DOESN'T mean the XRI CAN'T be resolved, it simply means in this context that the purpose of the XRI is only to determine equivalence and thus it should not be dereferenced. Examples: xri:@foo xri:(@foo) The former is intended to be resolved to the resource identified by "@foo". The latter is a way of expressing that resolution is NOT intended, and that the XRI merely expresses "the identifier with the value '@foo'". We have never disagreed that this is useful, we just haven't known exactly what to call it. As we have written many times (and as David Booth illustrated in his white paper about the different uses of URIs that we cited in the XRI Requirements doc), what we intend by the term "non-resolution" is same thing accomplished in English language by putting a word in quotes, e.g., "the word "user-friendly" has become commonplace in computer literature". It finally hit me what this really is: a self-reference. Since the whole purpose of an identifier is to serve as a reference to a resource, we need special syntax - in both human and computer languages - for the special case when we DON'T mean "the thing being identified", but instead mean "the identifier itself", i.e., a self-reference. I've already begun using this term in several documents describing this feature of XRIs and it works like a charm - simply substitute "self-reference" for "non-resolvability" and "self-referential" for "non-resolvable". It works especially well because cross-reference syntax is already a key feature of XRIs, and now we can list self-reference syntax alongside it. So the formal proposal is to make the terminology substitution above beginning with the 09 draft. Any objections, please post ASAP - silence will be deemed consensus. =Drummond