W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-awwsw@w3.org > April 2008

Re: network endpoints

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 16:05:50 -0400
Message-Id: <367B2550-601F-4C88-8FBD-8DAAD135670D@creativecommons.org>
Cc: noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com, "Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)" <skw@hp.com>, "public-awwsw@w3.org" <public-awwsw@w3.org>
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>

On Apr 30, 2008, at 1:55 PM, Tim Berners-Lee wrote:

> Real, you said, you wanted to connect to something real. Hmmm.
> I don't find the abstraction of the 'network endpoint' associated  
> with e resource to be any more real.  I find creating new abstract  
> concepts is only useful when it gives us something which we didn't  
> have before hang a lot of common meaning off.  In this case, we  
> have the abstraction of the resource, and we do have a server which  
> has a role in the HTTP protocol, and is controlled by the domain  
> name owner, and so on.  I don't se a use for some concept like  
> "that in the server which corresponds to this resource". If the  
> resource is served up by a php script common to millions of  
> resources on the server, I can't see the 'reality' of the network  
> endpoint.
> The server, though, is something closer to real.  It is actually  
> the thing which responds with a 200. It has a domain name, port,  
> etc.  It actually is in that sense a network endpoint - a transport  
> level endpoint.  (The server host is a network level endpoint).
> If you like, a resource is a web thing, and a server is a transport  
> thing.   I don't see a need for the endpoint you describe.
> Tim

I might have talked about servers, but was discouraged from doing so  
by Stuart and Noah. So I just said "the web" and "the web's behavior  
at U" as a standin for all the router, cabling, DNS, caches, servers,  
mirrors etc. apparatus that we use when we do GETs on U, to avoid the  
need to analyze all those things in detail. It is real in a sense  
that, say, numbers and functions aren't. An IR defined to be one  
whose awww:representations convey the declaration of US independence  
isn't real in the same way since it would have those  
awww:representations regardless of what happened on the web.

I thought I had heard you say that an information resource is an  
abstract document that might or might not be on the web, and that the  
URI names that resource, not what some server happens to do. Due to  
the wonders of URI ownership, it turns out that what the server does  
is (usually? always?) to give you awww:representations of the  
resource, but there are possible worlds in which this is not true.  
The point of giving a semantics is to rule out those other worlds. I  
will create as many "abstract concepts" as I need to in order to nail  
down a semantics that works - a different model for each TAG member  
if necessary. I'm sorry you don't understand the need for this - to  
me it is pretty important since it should tell me when a 200 response  
is allowed and when it isn't, something I don't understand right now.

To say that the information resource *is* a web thing is fine too -  
that would be the top box on my diagram - although it contradicts  
some other things you and others have said. I'm just trying to figure  
out what the intended semantics is. At this point I'm so confused  
that I don't care what it is, so long as it is defined clearly enough  
that I can understand it and its consequences.

This point (web-independent abstract document and real web thing are  
different but related things) seems to be very difficult to grasp - I  
know I've tried to make it many times in email without success.  
Perhaps someone else can help me out here, or maybe we should find a  
time to talk about it in person.

Received on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 20:06:33 UTC

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