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Re: Content Sniffing impact on HTTPbis - #155

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 07:36:56 +0000 (UTC)
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Cc: Adrien de Croy <adrien@qbik.com>, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>, Adam Barth <w3c@adambarth.com>, HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0906140726560.16244@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

Thanks to everyone for the various examples of pages that do content 
negotiation.

On Sun, 14 Jun 2009, Julian Reschke wrote:
> > 
> > No need to have a nebulous theoretical concept of "resource" that 
> > doesn't actually exist; it isn't needed to explain what's going on, 
> > and most people -- even most people who work with Web technologies 
> > daily -- don't think that way.
> 
> *You* may not need that distinction. However, when writing a spec, you 
> aren't doing it for yourself, but for an audience of readers.

It is precisely this audience of readers who are most likely to benefit 
from specs using concrete, understandable, and familiar terms like 
"resource" rather than theoretical, abstract, and confusing terms like 
"resource representation". There really is no reason to refer to an 
abstract concept here. There is an identifier, there is a server, there is 
an actual resource (by the dictionary definition, not the "newspeak" 
definition used in the HTTP spec). Why introduce another term? What else 
is there to refer to?

When you tell your command-line tool to fetch http://google.com/, it 
returns an actual sequence of bytes form a server. It doesn't obtain a 
representation of something, it just gets a thing. There's no nebulous 
"resource" here, just a concrete set of bytes (which will vary based on 
many things, such as cookies, IP, headers, etc).


> Changing terminology at this point is only going to cause confusion.

It is the HTTP and URI specifications that are, IMHO, continuing to cause 
confusion by insisting on unfamiliar terminology.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Sunday, 14 June 2009 07:37:30 GMT

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