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Re: statements about resources vs. representations

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2008 18:22:03 -0500
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>, Harry Halpin <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>, Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, "public-awwsw@w3.org" <public-awwsw@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF5890BF05.CD4E8A3B-ON85257508.007FE289-85257508.00805D7E@lotus.com>

Pat Hayes writes:

> 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.

On this I don't think I agree.  We're talking about the Web here, and 
what's more, I think a representation is an information resource.  I mean, 
not only can the thing be represented as a computer message, the whole 
point of it is to be sent in a computer message!  The key architectural 
imperative for the Web is "Identify with URIs."  I see no reason why, in 
cases where you do want some means of identifying a particular 
representation, a URI wouldn't be the way to do it.  When I make that 
choice, I get a variety of advantages:  I can make Semantic Web statements 
about the representation (it was buggy, it took a long time to arrive, it 
was cached at proxy p1, etc.) in the natural way without resorting to 
indirection;  I think I could even choose to run a server that would 
respond to GETs with representations of, well, the representation.  I 
think the usual rules of the Web apply well here:  when you need to 
identify something, do it with URIs.


[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/webarch/#pr-use-uris

Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Received on Friday, 21 November 2008 23:22:49 UTC

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