DescriptiveName

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A DescriptiveName is one which serves as both a name and as a sort of message. Using a particular descriptive name for something constitutes an assertion of the truth of the description.

Consider the sentence:

  The 39th president of the United States only served one term.

It uses "the 39th president of the United States" as a DescriptiveName for Jimmy Carter. Implicit in using such a name are several assertions:

  1. There is something called "the United States"
  2. It has one or more presidents
  3. There was a 39th president
  4. There was exactly one 39th president

Notice that "United States" is itself a DescriptiveName, although arguably its use has become so rote that its descriptive meaning is ignored.

Now consider the URI:

  http://www.w3.org/Consortium

It seems to me that use of this as a name (in a serious, non-negated, non-quoted context) constitutes an assertion that:

  1. The domain name www.w3.org exists
  2. There is an HTTP server on port 80 at www.w3.org
  3. That server will respond to HTTP requests with
  the parameter "/Consortium"
  1. The web content available from that server
  with that parameter is useful and essentially 
  accurate.

GoodURIs are each both a DescriptiveName and a UniversalName (UniversalNames).

See exploring ambiguity via the "something-which-has" URI scheme, sandro to uri@w3.org, May 01 2003.

It's very important to keep in mind that names only denote things in interpretations.


please add arguments down here, in PPR:ThreadMode.