W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > January 2008

Re: opaque uris and self-describing resources

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 15:18:20 -0500
To: Erik Wilde <dret@berkeley.edu>
Cc: "uri@w3.org" <uri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <32364.1200514700@ubuhebe>

> for recognizing the non-http nature of u1, software has to 
> dereference the uri, right?

Right.  (it's annoying, but oh well.)

> from the http spec, your usage of 303 seems 
> to be much more nuanced and semantically loaded then what the spec 
> suggests.

Absolutely.  This design sort of fits into the open spaces in the HTTP
Spec (and the existing implementations).

> so i assume to discover the non-http nature of the resource 
> identified by u1, there must be some content within the returned 
> resource that makes that statement. logically, i see three ways how the 
> non-httpness of the identified resource could be established:
> 1. string matching with a magic prefix
> 2. the 303 returned when dereferencing the uri
> 3. embedded metadata in the returned resource
> what is the official vote on these? it seems that (2) is required, but 
> it cannot be sufficient given the rather general definition of 303 in 
> http. would (1) be ok? or is that discouraged? i am sure that (3) is the 
> w3c's favorite given its inherent rdfness, but i am wondering whether in 
> this whole approach there still is a chance for non-semantic web users 
> to understand the non-httpness of the resource identified by u1.

The TAG reached consensus on 15 Jun 2005 to use option 2.  That is not
as "official" as a W3C Recommendation or a new IETF RFC for HTTP, but
it's what we've got.   See:


I don't think anyone is *happy* with this design, but it seems to work
and to offer advantages over the alternatives.   *shrug*

   -- Sandro
Received on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 20:20:48 UTC

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