3.4. Naming Resources

Determining the identity of the thing, document, information component, or data item we need is not always enough. We often need to give that resource a name, a label that will help us understand and talk about what it is. But naming is not just the simple task of assigning a sequence of characters. In this section, we will discuss why we name, some of the problems with naming, and the principles that help us name things in useful ways.

3.4.1. What’s in a Name?

When a child is born, its parents give it a name, often a very stressful and contentious decision. Names serve to distinguish one person from another. Names also, intentionally or unintentionally, suggest characteristics or aspirations. The name given to us at birth is just one of the names we will be identified with during our lifetimes. We have nicknames, names we use professionally, names we use with friends, and names we use online. Our banks, our schools, and our governments will know who we are because of numbers they associate with our names. As long as it serves its purpose to identify you, your name could be anything.

Resources other than people need names so we can find them, describe them, reuse them, refer or link to them, record who owns them, and otherwise interact with them. In many domains the names assigned to resources are also influenced or constrained by rules, industry practice, or technology considerations.

3.4.2. The Problems of Naming

Giving names to anything, from a business to a ...

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