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Subject: Resolutions

Having now caught up on the W3C TAG list discussions:

You know this, but I'll restate the obvious. After reading the emails,  
particularly http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2008Oct/0104.html 
  and follow up:

People will keep assuming that because http://xri.net/=drummond can  
resolve to an XRDS, http://xri.net/=drummond is an identifier for an  
XRDS. Jonathan Rees clearly thought so.

Do not allow this. And do not distinguish between http://xri.net/=drummond 
  and http://xri.net/=drummond/?_xrd_r=application/xrds+xml , or  
http://*.xri.net/=drummond and http://thing-described-by.org/xri/=drummond 
  . =drummond, and http://xri.net/=drummond, both identify Drummond  
the Abstract Thing (the human being, in fact; Abstract really means  
Not Necessarily Digital). http://xri.net/... is also a service that  
gets back a description of Drummond. http://xri.net/=drummond/?_xrd_r=application/xrds+xml 
  is a more refined service call, to get a particular kind of  

But Neither Service Call Identifies Drummond. If we say they do, we're  
back at the mess we started with. That's the inherent problem in using  
an identifier, URI, which is intrinsically also a service call. All we  
can do with this is, always return 303s in XRI resolution calls ("what  
you are getting Is Not Drummond. It's a description of Drummond").  
That doesn't change whether we specify XRDS as a parameter or not. And  
maybe, push the XRDS-Location header more in examples (if not  
implementations). Because that XRDS-Location URL *is* the identifier  
for the descriptor.

Pointing to the equivalence of, say, HTTP HEAD http://thing-described-by.org/info:xri:=drummond 
  and HTTP HEAD http://xri.net/=drummond might not be such a bad thing  
rhetorically: it makes more clear the distinction between resolution  
and identification, and that the XRI resolution binding is not a  
retrieval of a resource named in the URL --- just as thing-described- 
by.org is clearly not.

Again, I know you know this, but it'll be a lot of work to make sure  
URL-heads get it too.

Dr Nick Nicholas; Link Affiliates,      opoudjis@optushome.com.au
Melbourne          skype:opoudjis       http://www.opoudjis.net
"Despite millions of dollars of research, death continues to be this
  nation's number one killer."    --- Henry Gibson, Kentucky Fried  

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