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Glossary: Web [was: Re: Glossary: Web Content]

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 15:40:46 +0100
Message-ID: <016201c0e13b$6ebd6580$addd93c3@z5n9x1>
To: <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, "'WAI Cross-group list'" <wai-xtech@w3.org>
> What is the WEB.  It is HTTP retrievable information?  Or any
> information retrievable over TCP/IP?   Or IP?    Or via other
> protocols? [...] What is the definition?

The "Web", with a capital "W" is a common abbreviation for, "World
Wide Web". It is a theoretical information space in which all
resources (Web Resources) are identified by URIs, and can be referred
to as such. On a day-to-day basis, the word "Web" is often used as a
synonym for HTTP space, the space of information covered by all URIs
beginning with "http://".

That's my definition... Tim Berners-Lee defines it as:-
World Wide Web
(three words; also known as WWW) The set of all information accessible
using computers and networking, each unit of information identified by
a URI.
]]] - http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/Weaving/glossary

But note that according to the URI specification, a resource doesn't
just have to be a network entity (which isn't really implied by
TimBL's definition, but could be mistaken as such):-

         A resource can be anything that has identity.  Familiar
         examples include an electronic document, an image, a service
         (e.g., "today's weather report for Los Angeles"), and a
         collection of other resources.  Not all resources are network
         "retrievable"; e.g., human beings, corporations, and bound
         books in a library can also be considered resources.
         The resource is the conceptual mapping to an entity or set of
         entities, not necessarily the entity which corresponds to
         mapping at any particular instance in time.  Thus, a resource
         can remain constant even when its content---the entities to
         which it currently corresponds---changes over time, provided
         that the conceptual mapping is not changed in the process.
]]] - http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2396.txt

There are endless philisophical debates over what URIs, URI-Refs,
resources (in URI/RDF) exactly constitute, but thankfully that doesn't
stop the Web from working :-)

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://webns.net/roughterms/> .
:Sean :hasHomepage <http://purl.org/net/sbp/> .
Received on Sunday, 20 May 2001 10:42:35 UTC

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