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Re: "information resource"

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 17:09:02 -0700
Message-Id: <9F4F825A-02BD-11D9-83F4-000393753936@gbiv.com>
Cc: public-webarch-comments@w3.org
To: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>

I agree with the core of Patrick's argument, excerpted below, with
the minor exception that some web resources are representation sinks
that have no difficulty processing information that is sent to them,
even though they don't have representations of their own.  Those are
significant to the web machinery, but don't participate in the
information retrieval (hypertext) Web.

Maybe we need to distinguish resources from web resources and from
hypertext resources?  Or maybe the architecture just doesn't care, and
we can go back to describing how it works instead of how it might
be modeled in an abstract but artificial way.


On Sep 9, 2004, at 2:00 AM, <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com> wrote:

> But the resolution of that confusion need not posit any claims or
> constraints about the inherent nature of the resource itself, only
> about the accessibility of representations of that resource.
> I.e.
> --
> "resource"         Anything that can be referred to, named, described,
>                    talked about, etc.
> "web resource"     A resource which has web accessible representations
>                    (i.e. is significant to the web machinery).
>                    "web resource" is a subclass of "resource".
> "representation"   An octet stream (entity) returned by a server which
>                    reflects the state of a resource. A representation 
> is
>                    also a resource, which can be denoted by a distinct
>                    URI. A representation of a representation (resource)
>                    corresponds to a bit-equal copy of itself.
>                    "representation" is a subclass of "web resource".
> --
> IMO, the above three definitions should be sufficient to clarify the
> confusion between what a resource is and what resources are relevant to
> the web and why,  and how representations (the "atomic" resources of
> the web) relate to the broader set of web resources -- many of which
> correspond to abstract "bodies of information" such as web pages.
> Nowhere above is it necessary to say anything about the inherent nature
> of resources or of web resources, or to posit any kind of class of
> "information resources" in order to describe the behavior and 
> architecture
> of web servers and clients (aside from the atomic, binary nature of
> representations).

On Sep 9, 2004, at 3:51 AM, <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com> wrote:
> My explicit proposal would be to replace the words "information 
> resource"
> with either "web resource" or "web accessible resource" which IMO
> would coincide more precisely with the actual definition and not
> potentially imply any position relating to httpRange-14.

> Anything can be a resource. I am opposed to any constraints by
> the web architecture on the nature of resources denoted by URIs and
> for which representations are made web accessible.
> My view, in a nutshell:
> Anything can be a resource.
> Any resource can be denoted by a URI.
> Any resource can have web accessible representations.
> A web resource is a resource with web accessible representations.
> A representation is a resource.
> A representation can be denoted by a distinct URI.
> A representation is the atomic primitive of the web.
> A representation corresponds to a binary data stream.
> The representation of a representation is a bit-equal copy of itself.
> The web architecture faciliates interaction with representations of 
> resources.
> The semantic web architecture facilitates interaction with 
> descriptions of resources.
> The intersection of the web and semantic web architectures are a 
> shared set of URIs.
> Patrick
Received on Friday, 10 September 2004 00:09:10 UTC

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