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RE: Are generic resources intentional?

From: Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol) <skw@hp.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 14:50:11 +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: <233101CD2D78D64E8C6691E90030E5C832D1BD4EFD@GVW1120EXC.americas.hpqcorp.net>
Opps... a vital missing speech mark... and an acknowledgement that this is *my* rough framing of what I take Alan to be asking... Rather than an assertion that this is exactly what Alan asked or said. Apologies, particularly to Alan, if that was mis-understood.

> > 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).
> 
> Right, sorry I missed that earlier question. Good question, but Alan  
> gives exactly the wrong answer. I'm not sure what tradition he is  
> referring to, but the REST/tag/awww answer is surely that it has to be  
> the active agent'y entity.

It is *I* not Alan making a reference to a 'traditional' view and what I'm referring to really just the notion that (http) URI (are/can be used to) name documents which pervades most of the writing I seen on web architecture. To be fair, Roy does/has taken the position that there are more things than documents on the web, ie. active, agent'y, entities with which one interacts through the exchange of wa-representations (which might convey wa-representations of current(get) and desired(put/post) state - though I've seen no such constraint spelled out).

> Consider: there were files and documents  
> and images all over the planet long before the Web was invented. If  
> the basic ontology of Web Architectural theory is based on those, then  
> how on earth are we to explain what changed when the actual Web came  
> along?

...we gave them 'bigger' names grounded in a uniform namespace? (or at least mapped many of them to the same).

Stuart
--

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Pat Hayes [mailto:phayes@ihmc.us] 
> Sent: 10 June 2009 15:31
> 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 9:00 AM, Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, 
> Bristol) wrote:
> 
> > 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.
> 
> I understand, and agree. But was then (in my pit-bull way) 
> reiterating  
> what I believe is the main point.
> 
> >
> >> 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'
> 
> OK..
> 
> > 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.
> 
> Well, I also don't want to get too mechanical and all involved with  
> proxies and stuff, agreed. But I don't think that making a 
> distinction  
> between what one might call Web-passive entities (files, 
> images, ...)  
> and Web-active ones requires us to dive deep into the 
> machinery. Think  
> of the distinction between agents and non-agents for the kind of  
> conceptual level I'm aiming for. And the 'active' thing doesn't have  
> to be a file system or anything that specific. But it has to be a  
> thing that can, conceptually, **do** something Webbish. If it just  
> sits there and exists, then there is no way to even make it be  
> relevant to the Web *at all*. Other, of course, than being something  
> that can be referred to, but then that encompasses everything.
> 
> >
> >> 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).
> 
> Right, sorry I missed that earlier question. Good question, but Alan  
> gives exactly the wrong answer. I'm not sure what tradition he is  
> referring to, but the REST/tag/awww answer is surely that it 
> has to be  
> the active agent'y entity. Consider: there were files and documents  
> and images all over the planet long before the Web was invented. If  
> the basic ontology of Web Architectural theory is based on 
> those, then  
> how on earth are we to explain what changed when the actual Web came  
> along?
> 
> >> 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...
> 
> No, sorry, I wasnt aiming this remark at you particularly.
> 
> Pat
> 
> > 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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> >> phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us       http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> IHMC                                     (850)434 8903 or 
> (650)494 3973
> 40 South Alcaniz St.           (850)202 4416   office
> Pensacola                            (850)202 4440   fax
> FL 32502                              (850)291 0667   mobile
> phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us       http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
Received on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 14:51:24 GMT

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