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Re: ISSUE-81 (resource vs representation)

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 08:20:08 +0200
Message-ID: <4AC05598.504@gmx.de>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Ian Hickson wrote:
>>> It gives enough information to obtain a person. (Not enough 
>>> information to unambiguously obtain a _particular_ person.)
>> So phone numbers identify people (*), but not particular people? That 
>> doesn't sound like a helpful concept.
> 
> Well, I'm no fan of phones personally, but several billion people seem to 
> consider phone numbers remarkably useful despite this.

I don't see what being a fan of it has to do with your definition, which 
I think is simply incorrect.

>> The response to a POST request is a bag of bits, but that doesn't *make* 
>> the resource a bag of bits.
> 
> Right. What makes the response to a POST a "resource" is that the 
> definition of "resource" is "bag of bits" (amongst other things, as you 
> point out below).

So it appears you really do not have a definition of a resource.

 > ...
>> The distinction of the abstract concept of a resource, and the thing a 
>> GET request returns (call it bag-of-bits, entity, representation, 
>> whatever) is present in *all* relevant specs (HTTP, URI, WEB-ARCH...).
> 
> I agree that HTTP, URI (and IRI), and AWWW use this terminology.
> 
> I also think that HTTP, URI (and IRI), and AWWW happen to be the three 
> main documents in this space that are out of touch with reality these days 
> (for many reasons, not just this particular minor terminology issue). So I 
> don't really feel that they are especially relevant here.

Noted.

> (Larry is doing good work to address this as far as the IRI spec goes.)
> 
> Most of the other relevant specs (HTML4, CSS, DOM, SVG, XMLHttpRequest, 
> etc) use the word "resource" in the far more generic sense understood by 
> most people (e.g. referring to "XML resources", referring to the 
> dimensions of resources, referring to resources as images, referring to 
> resources having encodings, etc).

That's only a problem when it creates confusion.

What *is* a problem is to pretend (like you do) that this is correct 
terminology.

>> if the "resource" is a bag-of-bits, what is the thing you send a POST 
>> request to?
> 
> You send the POST request to an HTTP server, and the HTTP server responds 
> with a resource.

So you have renamed "representation of resource" to "resource", and lost 
the ability to call an HTTP resource "resource".

You are *causing* confusion, not reducing it.

>> PS: is a resource in the "tel" URI scheme a bag-of-bits as well? Is a 
>> "websocket" resource a bag-of-bits?
> 
> I don't think most people would refer to any resources in those contexts, 
> though I suppose one could argue that the phone connection or TCP 
> connection obtained when one uses those URLs are resources, in the same 
> sense that memory, CPU, and disk space are resources.

So it appears you want to "resource" exclusively with protocols that 
give you well-delimited bag-of-bits responses?

BR, Julian
Received on Monday, 28 September 2009 06:20:54 GMT

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