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Re: removing constraints on 'resource' [024-identity]

From: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Date: Tue, 25 May 2004 08:33:10 -0400
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: uri@w3.org
Message-id: <87pt8s7kl5.fsf@nwalsh.com>
/ Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org> was heard to say:
| On Mon, 2004-05-24 at 16:13, Norman Walsh wrote:
|> Conversely, what harm is caused by saying that it isn't (yet) a resource?
| In attempt to walk this fine line, the current draft says
|   "Anything that has been named or described can be a resource."
| which I don't find very helpful. Is the picture frame on my
| desk a resource? I dunno; for all I know, somebody out there
| gave it a URI; I suppose I just now described it. But I
| haven't sent this mail message yet. Is it a resource before
| I hit send? Why am I talking to myself like this? Witness
| comments by Hayes about using "can be" in a definition,
| and so on.
| Do you like the current definition, Norm?

It works for me. I feel like we're treading off into philosophical
territory here; I keep trying to figure out what practical impact this
has on the systems we build.

| I think TimBL suggested that among this
| philosophical discussion, an important question to be
| able to answer is "can I give _that thing_ a URI?"
| and of course, the answer is "yes". It seems helpful
| to make "is _that thing_ a resource?" be the same
| question, and to make the answer just "yes".

Dan (Brickley) said earlier in this thread that he felt the concept of
resource was un-interesting if it depended on having been named or
described. I'm not sure what's interesting (or useful) about the term
resource if everything that is or can be imagined is a resource.

I have something else in mind now, not the virus on the barley. I
haven't named or described it yet so it's utterly useless to you. What
value does it add to the architecture document to call it a resource?

If you feel that this email message names or describes the other thing
I have in mind now, and therefore it is a resource, I'll concede the
point. But there are other things that I have thought or seen or done
that you don't know about and they aren't resources, except as the
"set of things norm has thought or seen or done that you don't know
about" which may now also be a resource by virtue of this message.

But individually, those things don't exist in the web architecture and
they won't until someone puts them there. And the way someone does
that is by giving them (directly or indirectly) URIs. I'm content to say
that they become resources at that point.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM / XML Standards Architect / Sun Microsystems, Inc.
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Received on Tuesday, 25 May 2004 08:33:49 UTC

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