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

Re: statements about resources vs. representations

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2008 12:04:14 -0500
Cc: "public-awwsw@w3.org" <public-awwsw@w3.org>
Message-Id: <3F355696-CE91-4F12-BBBE-A06B26258994@creativecommons.org>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>

On Nov 21, 2008, at 10:59 AM, Pat Hayes wrote:

> 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.
> Pat

Sorry: I meant that I do a GET to obtain a representation *of R*. That  
is, R has a URI U, and I do a GET on U, and the representation (the  
representation that R will share with F) comes back as the entity of a  
200 response.

If you mean that the class of old books and that of web pages should  
be taken as distinct, and that R is a member of one and F is a member  
of the other, that is an interesting position. If you mean in addition  
that the two classes have no interesting common superclass that could  
possibly be the domain of dc:creator, that's very interesting - then  
my question of whether authorship of a representation has to be  
compatible with authorship of a resource that has that representation  
becomes unaskable, since only one of these can meaningfully have an  

I'm trying to figure out whether there is any relationship between the  
awww:representations of a resource and the resource, and if so what it  
is. It seems obvious that there is one - that it, it is possible to  
say one thing about a resource that makes it impossible to say  
something else about one of its representations, and vice versa.  
People look at representations to form theories about the resource,  
and so on. I picked dc:creator because it seems like something that is  
objective (potentially false, independently verifiable) and that might  
be asserted on either thing in the wild by an RDF author not  
prejudiced as we are.

As usual, I like it when people take stands. Thanks for answering!
Received on Friday, 21 November 2008 17:04:54 UTC

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