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Re: information resource paradox

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 11:09:48 -0500
To: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Cc: AWWSW TF <public-awwsw@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1269014988.4118.2738.camel@pav.lan>
On Fri, 2010-03-19 at 10:17 -0400, Jonathan Rees wrote:
> I'm mulling over the comparison of the information carried by
> a representation to the information carried by a resource.
> Let's suppose that content entities (representations) and information
> resources can both carry information, perhaps many "informations"
> each.  Suppose the a resource R "has information" content entity E (R
> "has information" E) at time t, let I(R) be the information carried by
> R, and I(E) be the information carried by E.  We might have
>    I(E) = I(R)                (e.g. data: URI resource, 'fixed resource')
>    I(E) a subset of I(R)      (lossy encoding)
>    I(E) a superset of I(R)    (advertising? marginalia?)
>    I(E) disjoint from I(R)
>    I(E) overlaps I(R)
> and so on.  Let's define subclasses of "information resource"
> according to which of these holds.  For example, let's say that an IR
> R is "transparent" if I(E) = I(R) whenever E "corresponds to" R.
> So let's take our journal article example, where you do a GET of some
> URI U and you only get an abstract of an article (you don't get all of
> its information).  Is this consistent with U naming the journal article
> (consisting of more than the abstract)?  We might phrase the question
> this way: are journal articles transparent?
> When you put it this way the question sounds nonsensical - why would
> you consider applying a property like "transparent" to a journal
> article? I.e. journal articles are not information resources.  Where did
> I go wrong?

When you made "transparent" a property of R rather than the
relationship between R and E. "Is article X transparent?"
is sort of like "is this grain of sand named by a URI?"
I can always mint a URI for that grain of sand, making
the answer 'yes'. And I can always force R to be opaque
(i.e. non-transparent) by minting a new URI for it
and serving less than the full information of R there...
i.e. by making a new E where I(E) != I(R).

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
gpg D3C2 887B 0F92 6005 C541  0875 0F91 96DE 6E52 C29E
Received on Friday, 19 March 2010 16:09:50 UTC

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