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Re: v11-03 COMMENT: 3.5 Terminology, Resource entity

From: John Franks <john@math.nwu.edu>
Date: Sun, 19 May 1996 20:04:55 -0500 (CDT)
To: Koen Holtman <koen@win.tue.nl>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960519194510.22848A-100000@hopf.math.nwu.edu>
On Sun, 19 May 1996, Koen Holtman wrote:

> 
> I just spent half a day being completely confused over what a
> `resource entity' is or should be.  The question is: if I replace the
> English text bound to a generic resource by a version of this English
> text with some spelling errors corrected, have I
>   a) changed the value of the existing English text resource entity
> or
>   b) replaced the existing English text resource entity by another 
>      English text resource entity?
> 
> Under a) a resource entity is something like a variable or container.
> Under b) a resource entity is something like a value or constant.
> 

Earlier we were using the term "entity source" to have a meaning close
to (a).  At some point this term got changed to "resource entity", but
those advocating the change had an entirely different meaning in mind.
I believe that when I asked for a precise definition of "resource 
entity" I was told it was an entity with an entity-body (as opposed
to an error message, for example).   This is a fine definition of
"resource entity", but then that term cannot be used in the text to
have the meaning of a variable bound to changing content.

The term "entity source" was not great, but at least it was clear.
It meant a variable whose value changes only as a function of time.  At
any given time its value is an entity (or perhaps the content part of
an entity).  By contrast, a generic resource is a variable whose values
are a function of time, client supplied headers, client IP-address
etc.  A plain resource is an entity source.  A generic resource is made
up of a number different entity sources (e.g. the English, French, etc.
versions).

At some point in the past the term "variant" was used instead of 
entity source.  There was objection to this on the grounds that plain
resources don't have variants.

It is important to get this language straightened out.  We already
have ample evidence that the current document is confusing in this
regard.


John Franks 	Dept of Math. Northwestern University
		john@math.nwu.edu
Received on Sunday, 19 May 1996 18:05:45 EDT

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