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RE: Are generic resources intentional?

From: Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol) <skw@hp.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 14:00:21 +0000
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
CC: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>, Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, "noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com" <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>, AWWSW TF <public-awwsw@w3.org>
Message-ID: <233101CD2D78D64E8C6691E90030E5C832D1BD4E77@GVW1120EXC.americas.hpqcorp.net>
Hello Pat,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Pat Hayes [mailto:phayes@ihmc.us] 
> Sent: 10 June 2009 14:29
> To: Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)
> Cc: David Booth; Alan Ruttenberg; Jonathan Rees; 
> noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com; AWWSW TF
> Subject: Re: Are generic resources intentional?
> 
> 
> On Jun 10, 2009, at 7:50 AM, Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, 
> Bristol) wrote:
> 
> > David,
> >
> > I think the point of Alan's question is not so much about whether  
> > the file (and hence its representations) can be subject to change,  
> > but about whether its is the file itself[*] that is the responding  
> > entity or the thing (filing system) that acts as its container.
> 
> Right. But hasnt it been assumed since day one, ie somewhere around  
> Roy's thesis, that The Resource is **the thing identified by the  
> URI**, and that the stuff that gets sent (by the Resource, when you  
> ping it suitably) is a Representation of it, ie of the Resource,  
> rather than the Resource itself. 

Indeed... it was just that David's response seemed to miss what I took to be the point of Alan's question. 

> So indeed, a bare text file is *not*  
> a Resource in this sense, rather in the way that my cat cannot answer  
> the telephone, even though you can hear it meowing when I answer the  
> telephone. 

:-)

I think I have previously taken the view that http requests are 'questions' one asks of 'the web' about things named by URI and that responses are answers from 'the web' and have tried (repeatedly) to avoid having the machinery of the web (servers, proxies, conceptual http endpoints etc) intrude into the domain of this discourse - so I'll acknowledge that distinguishing between the file and the machinery (file system) that serves up representations of it crosses that self imposed line. 

> Resources have to be able to Do some Webbish things,  
> participate in the Web architectural dance in some way. They are  
> agents, not files.

So... we're back roughly at the nub of Alan's question, roughly "...which is it, there resource of which we speak... the (passive)document/work of which the server wa-representations are representations of; or the (active) agent'y entity that provides responses to questions. I believe that the traditional view is that the URI names/identifies/refers-to the document/work thing rather than the (conceptual) machinery in the web (which some have dubbed http-endpoint).

> Seems to me that several very smart people worked hard to get this  
> broad architecture picture worked out, and that we should use it  
> rather than ignore it.

Certainly... Though I wasn't conscious of ignoring it... though maybe I was. Mostly I was trying to point to what I thought was the point of Alan's question which seemed to me to have been missed.

> 
> Pat

BR

Stuart
--

> 
> 
> 
> >
> > Stuart
> > --
> >
> >
> >
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: David Booth [mailto:david@dbooth.org]
> >> Sent: 10 June 2009 11:02
> >> To: Alan Ruttenberg
> >> Cc: Pat Hayes; Jonathan Rees; noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com;
> >> AWWSW TF; Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)
> >> Subject: Re: Are generic resources intentional?
> >>
> >> On Tue, 2009-06-09 at 22:45 +0100, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
> >>>> 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. And it has
> >>>> the great merit of talking about the **actual resource** rather than an
> >>>> awww:representation of it, which (latter) is what gets conveyed in messages,
> >>>> in fact.
> >>>
> >>> What does  "can emit a response to some kind of access protocol"  the answer to?
> >>> Notably, it doesn't include things like text files with html in them.
> >>
> >> Sure it can.  If you think of these things as functions from time and
> >> requests to representations then its representations still may change
> >> over time (as the file is modified) even if at any given time it always
> >> emits the same representation regardless of the request.  Or, if you
> >> take Roy's "curried" view (see
> >> 
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-awwsw/2008Apr/0047.html )
> >> of these things being functions from time to representation sets,  
> >> then
> >> even if the representation set is a singleton set at a 
> given time it
> >> still may be a different singleton set at another time, when
> >> the file is
> >> modified.
> >>
> >>
> >> -- 
> >> David Booth, Ph.D.
> >> Cleveland Clinic (contractor)
> >>
> >> Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not
> >> necessarily
> >> reflect those of Cleveland Clinic.
> >>
> >>
> >
> 
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Received on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 14:01:44 GMT

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