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WD-webarch-20031209: The term 'resource' needs to be defined

From: C. M. Sperberg-McQueen <cmsmcq@acm.org>
Date: 05 Mar 2004 00:15:07 +0100
To: W3C TAG mailing list <public-webarch-comments@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1078442107.2571.19.camel@localhost>

Section 2, introductory paragraphs.  In the introduction to this
section, the failure of the document to make any serious attempt to
define the term 'resource' begins to bite you -- and more to the
point, begins to cause problems for the reader.  I recognize that it's
difficult to define 'resource' well, but I believe it essential that
you try.  If definition proves absolutely impossible, you can of
course take it as an undefined primitive notion, but to make that
approach useful I think you would need to specify explicitly the
relations which are postulated as holding between resources and other
primitive notions.

In the current draft, you are making things too easy on yourselves;
the document suffers.

Some questions one might hope to have some light shed on by either a
definition or by a non-defining description of resource as a primitive
notion:

  How many resources are there, or how many could there be?
  Can resources be created or come into existence at a particular
    point in time?
  Can resources cease to exist?
  Can a set of resources be a resource?
  Can a part of a resource be a resource?
  Do all users of the Web operate with the same set of resources,
    or is it possible for one user to identify three resources
    where another identifies only two, without either of them being
    in error?
  Who determines the identity of a resource?  
  If the question arises whether two URIs designate the same 
    resource, can there be an authoritative answer to the question, 
    or is it a judgement question like the question 'Is "love" an 
    adequate English rendering for the Greek word "agape"?', on which 
    every thoughtful observer may form an independent opinion?
  It is clear that various parts of the architecture document assume
    that some resources have owners.  Do any resources have multiple
    owners?  Do any resources lack owners?  
Received on Thursday, 4 March 2004 18:15:58 GMT

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