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Re: terminology question

From: Koen Holtman <koen@win.tue.nl>
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 15:48:09 +0200 (MET DST)
Message-Id: <199904111348.PAA01872@wsooti08.win.tue.nl>
To: fielding@kiwi.ics.uci.edu (Roy T. Fielding)
Cc: koen@win.tue.nl, jschroeder@becomsys.de, http-wg@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Roy T. Fielding:

>>>> A representation is a variant if, at origination time, the set of
>>>> possible representations has a membership greater than one.
>>No, this is not how the 1.1 spec defines it.  I would say that in 1.1,
>>'representation' and 'variant' are synonymous terms.  A cut-and-paste
>>of the definition:
>>   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.' Use of the term `variant'
>>      does not necessarily imply that the resource is subject to
>>      content negotiation.
>>All this means that the term 'variant' is not very useful when
>>defining details of content negotiation.

>No, it means the definition in the spec is wrong, as I said a couple
>hundred times in our teleconferences.  You cannot make a wrong thing right
>just because I was outvoted.  These are terms defined by the architectural
>model of the Web, not defined by HTTP.


I was not aware that you were somehow advocating a 'right', but
different definition of the term variant all along.  I don't recall
any big fuss about the term any teleconference, but then again I was
not in all teleconferences.

It is generally not a good idea to redefine terms, even if the
original definition is somehow wrong.  Having two incompatible
definitions of 'variant' around can only lead to confusion.  If you
have some interesting concept you want to define a term for, there are
plenty of other, uncontaminated, words you could pick.


Received on Sunday, 11 April 1999 14:48:32 UTC

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