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Re: Are generic resources intentional?

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 10:01:41 -0400
Message-ID: <760bcb2a0906100701v56a88c0j7e4f886c5e3e085a@mail.gmail.com>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: "Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)" <skw@hp.com>, David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>, "noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com" <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>, AWWSW TF <public-awwsw@w3.org>
On Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 9:28 AM, Pat Hayes<phayes@ihmc.us> wrote:
>. Resources have to be able to Do some
> Webbish things, participate in the Web architectural dance in some way. They
> are agents, not files.

Hmm, I haven't come across this.  If you could give some a reference
that would help.

In the ICSE 2000 paper Roy says:

"The key abstraction of information in REST is a resource. Any
information that can be named can be a resource: a document or image,
a temporal service (e.g. "today's weather in Los Angeles"), a
collection of other resources, a moniker for a non-virtual object
(e.g. a person), and so on."

Are images agents?

What happens inside a server is a possibly complex series of handoffs
and script invocations. At some point there may (or may not) be some
entity that is specific to the request-URI as opposed to being generic
across several of them. That entity may then be either passive (e.g. a
web page, file, or database) or agent-like (e.g. an ongoing
computational process, a robot or other off-the-web service). But this
would all be implementation detail...   from the outside there would
be no way to tell whether the resource were passive, with the server
acting as agent, or itself an agent, with the server being a passive
intermediary. (If I do a POST and the robot arm moves, did the
resource move it, or did the server?) So I'm not sure what the
consequences of a choice would be, in the situation where there is a
choice (e.g. where Apache serves up a file).

Certainly this is a big difference in the way you and Tim talk about
the web, whether consequential or not. Given the amount of active
content out there I think I would prefer to say that passive web
resources are just a special kind of agent, as you say, rather than
attempt to shoehorn active content into the generic-resource model.

Jonathan
Received on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 14:02:14 GMT

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