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RE: Documents, Cars, Hills, and Valleys

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 16:47:35 -0400 (EDT)
To: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
cc: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@mysterylights.com>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0204101642140.29840-100000@tux.w3.org>
On Wed, 10 Apr 2002, Joshua Allen wrote:

> > There's a large class of http:-named resource for which the resource
> can
> > be exhaustively described by a content-typed bag of bytes. But there
> are
> > other resources (typically those that wrap databases, services etc)
> for
> > which we can never get a complete rendering of 'the thing itself',
> only
> > exchange messages with it. The document metaphor(*) seems too passive
> a
>
> Let's just acknowledge that "HTTP URL is an endpoint for
> message-passing" or more simply, "HTTP URL is just a switchboard", is
> widely regarded as abuse of HTTP.  Everyone admits that people abuse
> POST this way, but most would agree that we should give people a better
> way to do their "RPC and message passing".  Abuse of POST hurts more
> than just the semantic web.

There are some things about the layering of SOAP-based RPC over HTTP that
one might grumble about, but all that aside much the same argument can be run
for 'classic' (CGI etc) Web services, ie. those that take a bunch
of HTML-form POSTed parameters and return a (typically HTML or now XML)
document. The Web wouldn't be what it is today without CGI, so we need a
notion of http:-named 'document' that is at least broad enough to describe
the things (CGI / web form endpoints, for lack of another name) that we've
been POSTing our simple attribute/value messages to for all these years.

Dan


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Received on Wednesday, 10 April 2002 16:47:39 GMT

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