Topic: absolute vs. relative names

topics > Group: naming

access by current position
access to objects by a path
hierarchical naming
information retrieval by location
local vs. global
names defined by context
object-defined names
proper names
special relativity
unique names


A relative name is a hierarchical name relative to the current directory or context. This allows you to join and split naming universes.

A relative name is insensitive to reorganization. An absolute name may be used for external references. (cbb 12/00)

Subtopic: advantage of absolute names up

Quote: even though relative naming is simpler, absolute naming has clear advantages [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: every Clearinghouse object has an absolute, distinguished name [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: an absolute name means the same thing when given to another client [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: absolute references compress better than hierarchical references; encode gaps between successive occurrences [»wittIH_1991]

Subtopic: advantage of relative names up

Quote: relative names allow hierarchical representation of documents; links are independent of the physical or logical location [»bernT8_1994]
Quote: a manuscript should refer to files through indirect symbolic names; prevents dependence on a particular installation [»reidBK_1980]
Quote: use relative references to preserve internal links when moving a collection of documents [»ashmH9_2000]
Quote: colons separate directory names, * indicates the parent, a leading : indicates a relative path from the working directory [»daleRC_1965]

Subtopic: labels avoid knowledge of absolute address up

Quote: use labels to avoid knowledge of absolute position within a list [»maclBJ_1987]

Subtopic: private names vs. shared names up

Quote: Smalltalk names objects within a private address space while Unix uses a shared file system; Unix has many more organizational productivity tools [»coxBJ7_1983]

Subtopic: need flexibility up

Quote: should be able to join naming universes, e.g., north america merged via area codes [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: inflexible namespaces lead to conflicts; avoid flat namespaces requiring conventions, package conflicts, restricted scoping, static services

Related Topics up

Topic: access by current position (7 items)
Topic: access to objects by a path (13 items)
Topic: hierarchical naming (28 items)
Topic: information retrieval by location (21 items)
Topic: local vs. global (29 items)
Topic: names defined by context (36 items)
Topic: object-defined names (15 items)
Topic: proper names (35 items)
Topic: special relativity (73 items)
Topic: unique names
(58 items)

Updated barberCB 3/04
Copyright © 2002-2008 by C. Bradford Barber. All rights reserved.
Thesa is a trademark of C. Bradford Barber.