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Re: Do resources have representations?

From: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 14:46:11 -0400
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-ID: <87brvebibw.fsf@nwalsh.com>

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/ Benja Fallenstein <b.fallenstein@gmx.de> was heard to say:
| Therefore, following your logic, your browser could serve *anything* I
| put up at uri1 when you ask it for <http://www.w3.org/>. (If
| <http://www.w3.org/> denotes a web page, that's not a problem; I can
| still create another URI to denote the same web page!)

Yeah, well, only if I tell my browser to trust your assertions. In
which case, the browser will be behaving exactly as directed. I've
told it, after all, to trust my local proxy.

| Perhaps this gaping security hole can be fixed. There are more
| difficult cases, though. Assume that the following URI denotes a
| person:
|
|      http://example.org/~mjk/
|
| This person may have an associated email address, web page, name, age
| and so on.
|
| It's useful then to give only this URI when speaking about the person,
| e.g., "I got this idea from <a
| href="http://example.org/~mjk/">MJK</a>." My user agent could
| conceivably retrieve the information that <http://example.org/~mjk/>
| is a person with an e-mail address, so when I right-click on that
| link, it could offer me to "Send e-mail to this person." Or it could
| have a "More information about" option which would search the Sematic
| Web and show me a description about the thing defined by the URI-- the
| name, age and so on. Thus, it's useful to link to the URI of the
| person, not the URI of their home page.

Hold on. You said "could conceivably retrieve". How exactly? That makes
a huge difference.

| OTOH, it could also allow me to retrieve a representation of the
| person through HTTP (simple left click, I guess), which would probably
| end up being that person's home page.
|
| Now, assume that there are other pages about this person on the Web,
| for example a page from their employer, a page on an "I hate these
| people" site, and so on.
|
| When clicking on the link, in the tradition of Web pages I'd still
| expect to be taken to the Web page that the person of the link
| referred me to, not to some other description of the same person.
|
| I think that this is described well by what Peter said-- when I make
| the link in HTML, it not only represents a resource, but also gives a
| particular point of view on that resource (in Peter's terms, an
| intension).

It presents the representation it gets. Usually it gets it from the
URI, but if you've told your browser that it's ok to get it from
somewhere else, you get that.

What's the problem again?

                                        Be seeing you,
                                          norm

- -- 
Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM    | The perfect man has no method; or rather the
XML Standards Architect | best of methods, which is the method of
Web Tech. and Standards | no-method.--Shih-T'ao
Sun Microsystems, Inc.  | 
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Received on Monday, 28 July 2003 14:46:52 GMT

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