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RE: network endpoints

From: Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol) <skw@hp.com>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 11:01:51 +0000
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
CC: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, "noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com" <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>, "public-awwsw@w3.org" <public-awwsw@w3.org>
Message-ID: <9674EA156DA93A4F855379AABDA4A5C611CE9EE6F0@G5W0277.americas.hpqcorp.net>
Hello Pat,

From: Pat Hayes [mailto:phayes@ihmc.us]
Sent: 01 May 2008 19:53
To: Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)
Cc: Jonathan Rees; Tim Berners-Lee; noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com; public-awwsw@w3.org
Subject: RE: network endpoints

At 9:27 AM +0000 5/1/08, Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol) wrote:
Hello Pat,

I was wondering how you respond to the notion of attributing agency/action to the infrastructure of the web itself. Grant that in some sense the (http?) web infrastructure is able to inspect the 'state' of some things and report on it when asked.

By web infrastructure I mean some aggregregation of origin servers (backed by app servers, databases, filing systems etc) and proxies/caches. Any given user agent (software) experience 'the web' via the requests it makes and responses it receives via some local API. I was suggesting to Jonathan not to attribute behaviour in a fine-grained way to the 'mechnical' artefacts that make up web infrastructure - but to a coarse-grained agreegation of all of those artefacts as perceived by a given UA. Not least that avoids having to account in detail for caching behaviours where a given request may never reach the relevant origin server.

Well, OK, that all makes sense. Its the entire Web that is acting, and we don't say what the parts of it are doing. It seems rather uninformative and coarse as a basis for theorizing, but it does make a kind of sense. Still, my point remains, seems to me. Documents can't act.
Yes... I agree - "Documents can't act".

I'm not against a more fine grained model per se, but more elaboration presents as larger surface area for disagreement eg. over where a given response comes from or what provides it and whether those things are resources; whether there some fine grained mechanical entity that responds on behalf of the resource - whether that is singular to whether it has lots of clones.... and whether all of those are resources too...
  So apparently we have to say that there is the aggregation of all the machinery, which acts, and then there are documents, which get acted upon. Is that what you meant? (Im guessing not. :-)

Hmm... watching for the 'springs'... well I guess I kinda was (meaning that) though not so much from the pov of HTTP GETs where the document (abstract document?) is well, passive, but for PUTs and DELETEs  at least some change in the document's state can arise.

Jonathan, would it work for your purposes to give an account of the kinds of requests and responses that the web infrastructure must/should support/provide for some variety (you choose) of resources/things to be correctly deployed on the web.


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Received on Friday, 2 May 2008 11:06:34 UTC

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