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Re: usage of 'resource' vs 'representation' in HTML 5, CSS, HTML 4, SVG, ...

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 12:07:51 +0100
Message-ID: <4B20D687.30905@gmx.de>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, www-archive@w3.org
Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Wed, 9 Dec 2009, Dan Connolly wrote:
>> I find that usage of "identify" very unappealing. I think normal usage 
>> of "identify" is unambiguous. If I say "In this game, teams are 
>> identified by color" and then told you that blue identifies team X and a 
>> different team Y, you'd consider that nonsense.
> Yet that's exactly what happens. You play a game of Carcassone with me and 
> Dom, and Green represents me. Yet if one hour later you play the game 
> again but with Mike and Doug, suddenly Green might represent Mike instead. 
> The colour here is an identifier, but what it identifies changes 
> discretely over time. The color is a URL. The player is a resource. In the 

The person is a resource. The player identified by Green is a resource. 
They are not necessarily the same.

> rules it refers to "the green player", just like we refer to "the 
> http://google.com/ page", without meaning a particular bag of bits. Yet 

In this case, "we" excludes me. When I say that, I do *not* refer to a 
particular bag of bits.

> when you are playing the game, if you say "the green player" you mean the 
> actual person, just like we refer to "the http://google.com/ page" as 
> meaning the exact bag of bits. The two usages are trivially 
> distinguishable by context.
> Just like a variable whose value is an object is used simultaneously to 
> refer to whatever object it points to, which can change over time, and the 
> actual object that it points to at a particular moment in time.
> I don't think I've ever come across anyone trying to try to distinguish 
> these two concepts before reading the HTTP/URI specs, and I don't think 
> I've come across anyone trying to distinguish them since outside of people 
> involved in the development of those specs or people close to them.

If you want to maintain the notion of "a resource is a bag of bits" it 
would be helpful if you'd describe how this definition helps in 
explaining when you POST to an HTTP resource.

Best regards, Julian
Received on Thursday, 10 December 2009 11:08:30 UTC

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