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RE: statements about resources vs. representations

From: Booth, David (HP Software - Boston) <dbooth@hp.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2008 22:59:25 +0000
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
CC: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>, Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>, "public-awwsw@w3.org" <public-awwsw@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CD2B872281385A439B98164F5351E6DD39C3A9B0CA@GVW1144EXB.americas.hpqcorp.net>

> From: Pat Hayes
> On Nov 21, 2008, at 2:17 PM, Jonathan Rees wrote:
> > On Nov 21, 2008, at 1:39 PM, Harry Halpin wrote:
> >
> >> Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
> >>> AFAIK there is no way to make a statement about a representation,
> >>> only about a resource. [ . . . ]
> >
> > But AWWW and RFC 2616 talk about representations, and we do too.
> > We have to in order to talk about the semantics of HTTP.
> > Just because some people don't want to talk about them doesn't mean
> > such talk should be prohibited - that would be unscientific and
> > undemocratic.
> >
> > And of course they're exceedingly important. If all representations
> > were to disappear from the earth, the Web would cease to exist. So
> > it seems not only permissible, but important to talk about them.
> Hold up. I think what Harry should have said is that they are too
> ephemeral for someone to want to give them an enduring name or
> identifier. But there are other ways to refer to things than baptizing
> them with a URI for all time. For example, one might refer to a
> representation by specifying the resource that emitted it (which has a
> URI, by assumption) and the exact time it was created (a literal),
> and the "name" of the resource would then be a good old RDF blank node. No
> URI involved, but you can still talk about it.

Well put, except that there is one more parameter required: the information contained in the HTTP request, since the representation may depend not only on time, but on anything contained in the request.  That's why I suggest thinking of an information resource f as a function:

  f: (Time x Request) --> Representation

David Booth, Ph.D.
HP Software
+1 617 629 8881 office  |  dbooth@hp.com

Statements made herein represent the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of HP unless explicitly so stated.
Received on Friday, 21 November 2008 23:01:17 UTC

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