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Re: ISSUE-81 (resource vs representation)

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 11:57:18 +0200
Message-ID: <4AC0887E.5080006@xn--mlform-iua.no>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Ian Hickson On 09-09-28 10.39:

> On Mon, 28 Sep 2009, Julian Reschke wrote:
>>>> 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.
> 
> No, the confusion is caused by trying to reference something that doesn't 
> exist. There is no such thing as what you call a "resource" -- it's an 
> abstract concept that has no correspondance to the real world. It is 
> unnecessary and makes talking about our infrastructure more complicated.


I don't know if Julian will find what I am about to say any useful 
at all. But if you find that "resource" is  abstract, then how 
about saying "source" instead? Based on my localization 
experience, "resource" is /mostly/ a difficult way to say 
"source". And if "representation of" is too abstract, how about 
saying "copy of" - as an explanation of the concept?

An example from the Web browser world - since Roy claimed that you 
were hurt by speaking too much too browser developers:  iCab has a 
Filter tool that allows you to affect the content of the Web pages 
that iCab displays. One of the things that iCab's Filter tool 
allows you to filter is _resources_ - or, if you wish URLs/URIs. 
And "resource" is also the word it uses in the English 
localization. ("Filter URLs" is already "taken" since it is used 
about the  pages that you set up filters for.) When I localized it 
for Norwegian, I chose the equivalent for "source" - because 
"resource" /did/ seem abstract. Whereas "source" could actually 
produce the right idea amongst users about the difference between 
"source based filtering" and "media type based filtering" (which 
is necessary to understand in order to use iCab's Filters, as it 
can do both).

Whether a thing is - or seems - abstract depends on how well the 
idea is incorporated in to the - ah - resource that one is 
authoring - or reading. I don't think that you make the Web a 
better place by saying "bag of bits". Trying to express the same 
thing with different words can be good (even if a specification 
might not be the right place to choose new words). Dissing the 
whole concept usually isn't.

Another issue that I stumble upon almost daily is the translation 
of such simple phrases as "download link" or "save the link 
(target)"/"save the link (target) as" and similar. In the 
Norwegian localizations I use I often see helpless and confusing 
translations of these terms - were the helplessness seems directly 
linked to the inability to (correctly) discern between how it 
eventually is the linked _(re)source_ - and not the link itself 
(and not the "link target" [at least not the way 'target' usually 
is translated into Norwegian], for that matter) that you download 
or save. In most of these cases the translation could have been 
"saved", however, by being more general and less specific. May be 
that's an option to you as well ...

I have been in more than one debate where I claimed similar things 
  as you do. But as I see it - now, getting the terminology for 
these things right is not at all as abstract or distant from the 
"real" world as you claim.

My 2 Ýre ...
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Monday, 28 September 2009 09:58:01 GMT

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