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Re: statements about resources vs. representations

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2008 09:59:05 -0600
Cc: "public-awwsw@w3.org" <public-awwsw@w3.org>
Message-Id: <DFA748C1-50E9-4236-8D99-50178F82F14D@ihmc.us>
To: "Jonathan Rees" <jar@creativecommons.org>

On Nov 21, 2008, at 7:58 AM, Jonathan Rees wrote:

> (Using "representation" in the AWWW sense here.)
> Suppose I have a resource R, and for some reason I believe that
> R dc:creator author:Charles_Dickens.
> Now suppose that I do a GET to obtain a representation, and let F be
> the fixed resource (see [1]) whose representation is this  
> representation.
> (I'll need a term for the coercion of representation to fixed  
> resource, so
> I'll say "the FR of the representation.")
> Assuming good faith and proper functioning on everyone's part,
> can I conclude that F dc:creator author:Charles_Dickens . ?

Um... I must be missing something, because the answer to the question  
as posed is, "Obviously not", since no connection has been mentioned  
between R and F.  Did you intend them to have some kind of  
relationship, and if so, what kind? THe mental picture I currently  
have is that R is an actual copy of an old book, held in your hand,  
which you believe is authored by Dickens, while F is a web page  
somewhere that presumably has a URI which you used to do the GET.


>  I suspect
> so, but is this idea codified anywhere? Wouldn't this be part of  
> It seems to me that some properties will be shared between a resource
> and its representations' FRs, while others aren't.
> E.g. a property containsWord could easily be true of one  
> representation
> but not another (e.g. if the representations differ by language). Or,
> more obviously,
> one can meaningfully talk about the media type and content-length of  
> a FR,
> but not necessarily of its originating resource. Volatility is  
> similar: the FR
> is by definition not time-varying, but the resource may be.
> I guess this is what Tim's "generic resources" memo [1] is saying.
> Are there any properties of a resource that can be inferred
> from its representations? That is, when I do a GET, do I
> (or rather a stupid automated agent) learn anything
> at all about what the resource is? I certainly don't learn anything
> about, say, volatility, unless we're lucky enough to have
> a credible assertion about it in the representation.
> But I would guess that at least for things like authorship
> (aspects of the content), if P and Q are disjoint classes,
> and P applies to a resource's representation's FR, then you can  
> conclude that
> Q does not apply to the resource? That is, if you find that
> any representation's FR's creator list consists of {George Eliot},  
> then
> you know that the resource's creator list cannot be {Charles Dickens}.
> This doesn't hold for volatility: volatile and nonvolatile are  
> disjoint.
> Conjecture: It seems that this analysis could continue, e.g. by  
> helping
> one to understand the domain, range, and arity (functional, inverse
> functional, etc.) of various properties such as authorship and  
> volatility
> that one might apply to (information) resources.
> [1] http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Generic.html
> P.S. Is anyone interested in the AWWSW group any more?

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Received on Friday, 21 November 2008 16:11:09 UTC

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