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Re: URI serialization issues

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 12:56:49 -0500
Message-Id: <cf54047e5e4985b81f5e5e1c69ca1111@w3.org>
Cc: public-rdf-dawg-comments@w3.org, Kendall Clark <kendall@monkeyfist.com>
To: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>

On Jan 18, 2006, at 5:47 PM, Mark Baker wrote:
> Ah, I just read some of the responses.  Dan's surprises me;
> "Asking a question is asking a question; whether it's a hard question 
> or
> not seems orthogonal to safety."
> If by "safety" Dan's thinking about the absence of a change in state
> (which I think you mentioned was your understanding, Kendall), then I
> disagree, but let me try to put my position in those terms.
> If I asked you "What are the prime factors of this kazillion-digit
> integer", that's a question that would take a large amount of time and
> money to answer.

Maybe. Or maybe the server has the answer stored already and
just has to look it up in a table/cache.

>   And if it costs money to answer, then that requires
> your bank account be debited by that amount of money, which is a state
> change.

Asking a question doesn't compel anybody to answer. The server
can just say "gee... hard question; I dunno" and decline to answer
(with a 403 QueryRequestRefused answer).

Besides, writing log file entries is a change of state too; but
it's not a change of state that the client is accountable for.

    Naturally, it is not possible to ensure that the server does not
    generate side-effects as a result of performing a GET request; in
    fact, some dynamic resources consider that a feature. The important
    distinction here is that the user did not request the side-effects,
    so therefore cannot be held accountable for them.

  -- 9.1.1 Safe Methods
<- http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/whenToUseGet.html

> Food for thought ...
> Mark.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Thursday, 19 January 2006 17:56:56 UTC

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