More than an Identifier ...but... less than a Name

Joe Breher joe at
Thu Jan 20 12:58:03 PST 2011

* From the T10 Reflector (t10 at, posted by:
* Joe Breher <joe at>
Hmmm. This could make for an interesting philosophical discussion.  
In my mind, names are not long-lived so much as they are permanent. The name
is a property of an object as long as that object is in existence. Further,
names have the characteristic that, for the entire life of any given domain,
the name uniquely identifies a given object - whether that object has not yet
been instantiated, is currently in existence, or is no longer in existence.
That name will never be reused within a given domain.
Yes, I acknowledge that several things we refer to as 'names', may not be
names per this definition, unless they are fully-qualified names. A true name
may contain a time component. A good example of such would be a WWN as per
the iSCSI IQN textual format.
Identifiers, by contrast, only need be unique within a given domain at an
instant in time. They are the 'handle-like-thing' by which we refer to any
given object, within a given domain, at a given instant in time.
Do we really need an intermediary term? Why is 'identifier' not the proper
classifier for the characteristic employed in referring to a 'pile of
point-in-time logical block copies'?
On Jan 20, 2011, at 12:37 PM, Ralph Weber wrote:
> * From the T10 Reflector (t10 at, posted by:
> * Ralph Weber <roweber at>
> *
> Here is the perfect kind of grist for the CAP-ites
> to chew on.
> Today, SCSI has Identifier, which are short-lived numbers
> that identify something (e.g., Command IDs, formerly Tags,
> identify one command as the Q in an I_T_L_Q nexus).
> SCSI also has Names, which are long-lived constructs that
> uniquely identify something (e.g., a logical unit name).
> What is the right term for something in the middle (neither
> short- nor long-lived) that identifies something (e.g.,
> the pile of point-in-time logical block copies in a
> Copy Offload operation (such as was discussed in Irvine)?
> The current proposal says "token".
> If there are better ideas, please post them to this reflector.
> All the best,
> .Ralph
> P.S. Whatever gets chosen will be around for a long time.
> *
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