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Example for consideration: Resource versus Representation

From: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 23:34:01 -0500
Message-Id: <80786191-FB6C-451B-AB01-6BB83797000D@gmail.com>
To: public-awwsw@w3.org

Are representations resources?

I have heard the argument that they are not. In this morning's call I  
agreed to send an example I've been thinking about.

Consider some Information Resource that responds to a request with a  
Representation of type application/pdf. I save the response on my  
hard disk. Is the thing I have (henceforth known as the file)  on my  
hard disk an Information Resource? If it is, when and how did it  
become one, having been only a Representation until recently? If not,  
what happens when I move the file to a directory (actually, I don't  
move the file, I make changes to directory structures) that my Apache  
server can serve from. Can my server respond to requests for  
Representations? If not, how should it avoid serving this file? If  
the server answers requests only about Resources and is willing to  
serve the file then the file must be a Resource. If it is, same  
question: When and how did it become a Resource, having only recently  
been a Representation?

It was suggested that perhaps Resources were only Resources if they  
were identified by a URI. However this statement generated some  
controversy, so at least this is a point we should resolve.

-Alan
Received on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 04:34:11 GMT

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