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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Reference By Description - Malinke Monikers

I have been reading about Reference by Description over in Semantic Web land and am reminded of what I call "Malinke Monikers".

I first wrote about them here - A study in XML culture and evolution. Basically the difference between a name and a query that resolves to a name is a fascinating and subtle one.

It evokes images of Russell, Frege and more recently Kripke for those of a philosophical disposition.

Back in the real world - the humble URI (bless its pure little heart) does not force an HTTP server implementation to be name based or query based. The distinction between the two can blurr into nothingness in the bowels of Apache or an AppServer in a very powerful way.

Is there really a difference between:

1. a name which resolves to a representation of a resource, and
2. a query that resolves to a representation of a resource


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