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Re: Are generic resources intentional?

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Tue, 09 Jun 2009 19:06:06 -0400
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com, AWWSW TF <public-awwsw@w3.org>, "Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)" <skw@hp.com>
Message-Id: <1244588766.3705.42.camel@dbooth-laptop>
On Tue, 2009-06-09 at 14:26 -0500, Pat Hayes wrote:
> On Jun 9, 2009, at 7:40 AM, Jonathan Rees wrote:
> > ...
> > (Personally at this point I think that regarding web architecture or
> > HTTP semantics I would ditch all the philosophy about "essentially
> > information" and "conveyable in a message" and just stick to something
> > much more operational and concrete.

I agree.  What makes an "information resource" relevant to web
architecture (and semantic web architecture) is the fact that it can
have awww:representations that are returned in response to requests.
This is relevant to web architecture because there are protocols for
making these requests, media types for interpreting the representations,
etc. -- a whole host of specifications that are come into play *if*
something is an "information resource".  These specifications care
nothing about who authored Moby Dick: it isn't relevant.  

In my view, the architecture should *only* define "information resource"
to the extent that it is relevant to the architecture.  I.e., the
definition should *only* include those characteristics that are needed
by the architecture.  If a particular resource happens to have
characteristics beyond those that qualify it as an "information
resource", then that's fine.  I see no justification for saying anything
more about what characteristics an "information resource" must or must
not have.  In particular, I see no architectural justification for
including any disjointness requirements in the definition of
"information resource".  

> Absobloodylutely. Trying to use philosophy to clarify architecture is  
> like trying to do engineering drawing using mud.
> > I'm not sure what that would be;
> > maybe start with "on the web" or "can be put on the web"
> No, because sane people (eg Roy) have argued that this would include  
> galaxies and sodium atoms because these can be referred to "on the  
> web" (or maybe can be seen using instruments that are physically  
> attached to the Web; Tim has argued to me that eg Pantone colors count  
> for this reason, since they can be detected and checked using a  
> digital colorimeter. At least I think that was his point.).
> > or "suitable
> > for use with HTTP"
> Why not, "can emit a response to some kind of access protocol"  ? That  
> seems to handle all the present and all the likely future cases, be  
> unambiguous, and (by philosophical standards) vividly clear and  
> unambiguous. 

I think that's on the right track.  And one can think of those things
abstractly as functions from time and requests to representations
(ftrr:IR).  Or, as Roy describes them, as functions from time to
representation sets.  As I pointed out earlier
Roy's function is basically a curried version of ftrr:IR.

David Booth, Ph.D.
Cleveland Clinic (contractor)

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of Cleveland Clinic.
Received on Tuesday, 9 June 2009 23:06:39 UTC

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