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Re: Last gasp terminology issue

From: Henrik Frystyk Nielsen <frystyk@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 1996 15:06:58 -0400
Message-Id: <199606071906.PAA29464@www20.w3.org>
To: jg@w3.org
Cc: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@liege.ICS.UCI.EDU>, http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/866
jg@w3.org writes:

> Since there seems to be universal disgust at the current definition 
> of variant, I plan to make the following change:
> From: variant
>  Each representation of that resource that corresponds to a different 
> sequence of entities that could be returned for a requested resource 
> is termed a variant.
>  variant
>  A resource may have one, or more than one, representation(s) 
> associated with it at any given instant.  Each of these 
> representations is termed a variant. 
> If people want, we can reopen the terminology can of worms for draft
> standard, but this is my best take for proposed.
> If there are any last second complaints on this change, let me know.

There is a conflict/overlap between the definition of "representation" and "variant". I don't think the version above gets the message through that a representation is a (hopefully _the_) snapshot of a resource that the client requested. A variant, on the other hand, spans time so that it _does_ make sense to talk about multiple versions of a variant. A part of the problem is that representation is used to define variant. A fix could look like this:



A resource may be available in one, or more than one, variant(s), representing one, or more than one, language(s), data format(s), size(s), resolution(s), or other dimensions at any given instant. 


PS: Jim, as you mention, I am not sure whether we should do this at this late point as it does have consequences through out the text.

Henrik Frystyk Nielsen, <frystyk@w3.org>
World-Wide Web Consortium, MIT/LCS NE43-356
545 Technology Square, Cambridge MA 02139, USA
Received on Friday, 7 June 1996 12:10:40 UTC

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