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RE: Definition of "Resource"

From: Grant Robertson <grantsr@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2012 11:41:10 -0700
To: "'Richard Cyganiak'" <richard@cyganiak.de>
Cc: <public-rdf-comments@w3.org>
Message-ID: <4A8EC2958B2F44369B7BA5C9703A79B8@grantdesk>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard Cyganiak [mailto:richard@cyganiak.de] 
> My rule of thumb is that in normative specification prose, 
> every term needs to be either a word we'd find in the 
> dictionary, or defined in some standard that is normatively 
> referenced, or defined in the specification itself. And 
> whenever possible, uses of the term should be hyperlinked to 
> the definition.

Agreed. Personally, I prefer to start any major technical writing project by
defining my terms. I may not put that in the document itself, but it keeps
me on track as to how and when I should use said terms. It also forces me to
look at whether I will need to use adjectives all the time with certain
words or whether I will be able to get away with shortening things after an
adequate definition and explanation. However, when such definitions ARE
given within a document, they should be complete, and useful for the
intended audience. This is a problem I have with much technical
documentation for web standards. There are links back to definitions but
those definitions are often vague, contradictory, or rely upon additional
knowledge not mentioned. 

> (I'd disagree with that. "Resource" is web jargon; the normal 
> meaning of the word is *much* narrower than "entity". 
> "Entity" means "anything that has existence", which is 
> sufficiently encompassing to include concepts and 
> relationships. I agree that "source" is too narrow.)

OK, I agree, "resource" is very rarely used to mean "the universe of
everything." It usually means something that can be of some benefit. In the
context of web technologies and the current definition of "resource":
"benefit" has a really wide definition. A "resource" is a "benefit" only
because we can use it within the context of web technologies, specifically
RDF and RDFa. So, it is a rather circular definition. But it is one that
seems to be widely accepted amongst web designers. One would have to take a
poll to be sure. As to "entity" I guess we just have differing opinions as
to its best usage. I would have to defer to a linguist on that one. Though I
do think it would just come across as a little odd feeling for most web

In the end, I think just plain old "resource," with appropriate definitions,
is just fine. 
Received on Monday, 28 May 2012 18:41:39 UTC

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