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Re: resources, stuffs and individuation

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@apache.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2003 16:52:48 -0700
Cc: uri@w3c.org
To: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Message-Id: <859966A3-751D-11D7-82A4-000393753936@apache.org>

>> If you have suggested wording to change, then please suggest it.
> I believe I have already pointed out wording which I feel needs 
> changing. I cannot suggest a correction because I do not know what the 
> words are intended to convey; that is precisely my point.

Here is my problem: 100 philosophers are in a room talking about the
nature of resources.  Some subset of them disagree on the definition
of "identity", which causes some commotion even though the technology
doesn't change regardless of which definition is used to replace the
word in the sentence defining Resource.  Nevertheless, because this
bone of contention is the current focus of debate, that subset of
philosophers desires that the word "identity" be removed from the
definition so that they can stop arguing about it.

That would be a fine solution, if it weren't for the fact that those
people are only a subset of the philosophers in the room.  There are,
in fact, larger subsets that are busy arguing about "anything", and
others who will only surface once "identity" is removed (because any
other word used in its place will topple their favorite apple cart).

I have already gone through this process twice -- once in 1997 and
again on the TAG list last year.  I am not going to go through it
again until all of the philosophers reach consensus on new wording
for the definition that takes into account the entire scope of 2396
in its role of defining URIs for all Internet protocols.

The existing definition is the only one that reached rough consensus
before, and I don't think it can be improved without artificially
constraining the technology.

   A resource can be anything that has identity.

It means exactly what it says in English.  If you can come up with
a better definition and can get rough consensus that it doesn't exclude
things that others consider to be resources, then I'll put that in the

>> If you don't, then this is a redundant discussion
> It is not redundant. You may feel it is unimportant, but neither you 
> nor anyone else, as far as I know, has answered the questions.

Of course I consider it to be important.  I don't argue about
unimportant changes to the specification.  However, I am not going
to spend time word-crafting definitions for others when I think
their opinion is in the minority.  This task is hard enough already.

And yes, I have already answered this question many times -- here is
a link to the most recent:


Received on Tuesday, 22 April 2003 19:50:53 UTC

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