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Re: Indicating a resource does not exist

From: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 18:03:47 +0100
Cc: Joe Gregorio <joe@bitworking.org>, HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <6E58CB2C-B5F9-4511-B8FB-D3F1C539BE8E@bblfish.net>
To: nathan@webr3.org

On 20 Jan 2011, at 17:50, Nathan wrote:

>> 
>> But then it would refer quite clearly to something, and you could use that something to build up all of mathematics on it.
> 
> Indeed, that's why I was looking to infer nothing, not even the empty set, and couldn't find a way to do it (without the 410 did exists at one point angle).

The thing is you can't say of a name that does not refer that it refers to nothing, for it would then refer and have a meaning. Furthermore if the web server returns something then it clearly did have
enough meaning to be looked up in the global web space of meaning: the web. So it is not completely meaningless either. I would say therefore that the answer that servers currently give saying they cannot find the resource gives you enough of what is needed for things to work.   

The fact that you think there should be a return value for this case because it seems to make sense is not enough to prove that there should be one. Similarly the fact that we can write the square root of -2 does not mean there should be an answer to that function or that it should be meaningful. That it turned out to be meaningful with imaginary numbers was something that required some serious argumentation. It helped solve some interesting problems. Until those problems pop up ant it is proven that those return value would best solve the issue, that they do so better than any other technical solution, until then there
is no good reason to search for return values for specifying names that don't have referents.


Henry

Social Web Architect
http://bblfish.net/
Received on Thursday, 20 January 2011 17:04:24 GMT

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