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Re: ISSUE-81 (resource vs representation)

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2009 02:36:10 -0700
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <CD4FD6D7-97D1-490E-857B-E7863731861D@apple.com>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>

On Sep 27, 2009, at 2:12 AM, Julian Reschke wrote:

> Hi,
>
> (see also <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/issues/81> and <http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=7687 
> >)
>
> This issue is about the question vs "resource" is the thing  
> identified by a URI/URL, or the bag of bits you get when fetching it  
> (for HTTP, for instance, using GET).
>
> Obviously, it can't be both for several reasons. The most obvious  
> one that many resources [sic] are content-negotiated, so the bag of  
> bits that a UA can fetch will depend on more than the request URI  
> (such as request headers, point of time, or IP address).
>
> On the other hand, Ian writes:
>
>> RFC2616 is the one unnecessarily introducing new terminology here.  
>> A resource
>> is a bag of bits, and HTML5 consistently uses that term throughout.
>
> (<http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=7687#c1>)
>
> That is incorrect in itself, as there are parts of HTML5 which *do*  
> use the traditional definition:
>
> "A URL is a string used to identify a resource." -- HTML5, Section  
> 2.5.1, <http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#terminology-0>  
> (the fragid may be instable...)

It seems to me that "resource" and "representation" are both normal  
English words that are used in a variety of ways in the world of  
computing. Since there is no ambiguity in HTML5's use, I do not think  
we need to micromanage the word choice.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resource_(computer_science)

More generally, I don't think it makes sense to require HTML5 to use  
words with multiple meanings as technical terms in the exact same way  
as dependency specifications. There are too many dependencies, and  
they use words in different ways. I would only be concerned if there  
is actual confusion (as opposed to the purely hypothetical confusion  
in this case).

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Sunday, 27 September 2009 09:36:56 UTC

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