W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > April 2002

RE: Documents, Cars, Hills, and Valleys

From: Miles Sabin <miles@mistral.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 23:54:04 +0100
To: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000701c1e019$753e35a0$a3eab8c3@milessabin.com>
Larry Masinter wrote,
> I'm on the document side. The "http" URL scheme is defined in the 
> HTTP protocol document, it identifies the "resource" that the HTTP 
> server is supporting. I know of no HTTP servers that connect to 
> people, and few that connect to cars. If you use HTCPCP you can have 
> a HTTP server that connects to a coffee pot, but even then, you only 
> get a fairly limited view of the coffee pot's state.

That might have been a sustainable position once, but I'm afraid I
don't think it can be now.

Many, many things have HTTP interfaces allowing interaction and/or
manipulation. When you use a web interface to a printer are you 
manipulating the printer or a document? When you make an online 
purchase are you dealing with the vendor or a document?

Does it matter that these interfaces give you a fairly limited view
of the thing on the end of them? Not obviously. By analogy, it doesn't 
follow from the fact that a telephone gives you a limited view of the 
person on the other end, that you're just talking into a microphone 
and not to the person.

I think it's better simply not to try and choose between the 
candidate referents of a URI and single out one as canonical. Let the 
coffee pot URI be ambiguous between the document and the coffee pot, 
and let context or some other mechanism resolve the ambiguity and get 
you a referent. Document consumers will see a document, and coffee
consumers will see a coffee pot: the two views are compatible.

Cheers,


Miles
Received on Tuesday, 9 April 2002 18:54:15 GMT

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