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Re: URI: Name or Network Location?

From: Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 15:51:58 +0200
Message-Id: <5022F3CB-4DAB-11D8-87BF-000A95EAFCEA@nokia.com>
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
To: "ext Sandro Hawke" <sandro@w3.org>

I'm going to live dangerously and, as I have to go out the door
in 3 minutes, will give my off-the-cuff personal definition of
what I consider a representation to be (which I may need to later
expound upon/clarify/retract/whatever).

A representation is a sequence of bytes which, if decoded/displayed
as intended, reflects the nature and/or state of the resource (lots
of loaded words in there... ;-)

It is up to the owner/controller of a given URI to decide what is
a reasonable or useful representation of the resource denoted by
that URI.

It is not always clear from the representation(s) alone what is actually
denoted by a URI. This is a problem for automated agents.

If the resource denoted is a digital resource, then a representation
could even be a bit-equal copy of that resource (i.e. it could
*be* the resource). But that is not likely to be the most common case.

Each representation is a resource in its own right, and could
be denoted by a URI distinct from that denoting the resource
of which it is a representation.

IMO, one reason why the web is so successful, is because there is
so much freedom in deciding which representations to offer for
any given URI denoting a resource. That freedom is also a challenge
for the SW, and a significant motivation for URIQA. So that we
can better determine in a consistent and formal manner the nature
of the resources denoted by URIs rather than having to guess
based on their available representations.

Anyway... gotta run...



On Jan 23, 2004, at 15:37, ext Sandro Hawke wrote:

>> The http: URI scheme is indeed a very attractive scheme to use to
>> name resources -- because, as you point out, one can (optionally)
>> employ HTTP to provide access to representations of that resource.
> While you're on the subject, and because I know you have seriously
> consistent views on this: what does the word "representations" mean
> there?  My gray understanding is the community on the whole has no
> consensus here, so a not-well-defined term is used.  But I suspect it
> is well-defined for you.
> Try replacing "representations of" with
>    (1) "content (MIME Entities) associated with"
>    (2) "serializations of"
> I have trouble finding a consistent and useful meaning of
> "representation" between those two.
>        -- sandro


Patrick Stickler
Nokia, Finland
Received on Friday, 23 January 2004 08:59:20 UTC

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