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Re: ISSUE-81 (resource vs representation)

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2009 04:18:18 -0700
Cc: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <01F1E50B-85F5-4DC7-B2C2-F7DBE81E93D4@apple.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

On Sep 27, 2009, at 3:53 AM, Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Sun, 27 Sep 2009, Julian Reschke wrote:
>>
>> [...] 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...)
>
> This is actually intended to refer to "bag of bits". It identifies a  
> bag
> of bits in the same way that a telephone number identifies a person.  
> Sure,
> if you call a number at different times you might end up with  
> different
> people, but you're still using a phone number to identify a person,  
> you
> just don't know which one until you try to use the phone.
>
> It may be that you disagree with the meaning used for the word  
> "identify"
> here as well; it's being used in the sense of "give enough  
> information to
> obtain", not the sense "provide a name for" (the latter being the  
> meaning
> often used in Semantic Web circles for the word "identify").

It seems like it would be more painstakingly accurate to say "A URL is  
a string used to retrieve a resource" or "A URL is a string that  
provides the address of a resource." But even that is not quite  
accurate, because in the case of HTTP, it's the full HTTP request  
(including method and headers) that determines what resource you get,  
if you take resource to be the concrete octet sequence you get back.

In any case, I don't think this kind of wording discussion is best  
handled through the issue tracker.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Sunday, 27 September 2009 11:19:02 UTC

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