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Re: WebArch Ambiguity about Objects, PLUS Suggested Major Replacement

From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 20:16:51 -0500
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <20021230201651.R31971@www.markbaker.ca>

Hi Sandro,

On Mon, Dec 30, 2002 at 02:49:30PM -0500, Sandro Hawke wrote:
>   The owners of Mark Baker SHOULD make available representations
>   that describe his nature and purpose.
> 
> Obviously, Mark Baker doesn't have an owner, so this is nonsense.

No, it seems fine to me.  I own me.

That perhaps a bit of a twisted example, but a more reasonable one
would be;

  The owners of Dan Connolly's car SHOULD make available representations
  that describe its nature and purpose.

> > The Web is a universe of resources. 
> 
>   The Web is a universe of things like Mark Baker, his house, and
>   his coffee pot.    
> 
> Somehow this is different from the real universe?   Saying the web is
> the universe is nonsense.

"is" is too strong; I wouldn't say that.  But I have no problem saying
that the Web includes everything in the universe.  It sounds wacky,
sure, but try to identify something in the universe that *can't* be
identified by a URI, nor return a representation on a GET (even if it's
not an http URI).

> The distinction I'm trying to make only matters when information
> systems collide.  For example:
> 
> Within a particular application, perhaps a school's class-registration
> database, students can use their home page URLs to identify
> themselves.  That works fine until that data gets merged on the
> Semantic Web with data about, oh, student's home pages.  Now we're
> saying things like "there is a thing enrolled in CompSci 101 which has
> a last-modify date of 15 minutes ago."  This is really not a very good
> information system design!  On the other hand, it's just fine (and
> really not much more work) to say "there is a thing enrolled in
> CompSci 101 which has a home page which has a last-modify date of 15
> minutes ago."  Wouldn't you prefer we keep these things straight?

Absolutely, but I'd say we already can/are.  If we know that
"http://www.markbaker.ca" identifies me, then it is incorrect to assert
that the resource identified by "http://www.markbaker.ca" was "modified
15 minutes ago".  So we need another way of talking about the
representations.  With this example, I assert that
"http://www.markbaker.ca/index.html" identifies the HTML representation
of me, so it's quite reasonable to make a last-modified assertion about
it.  As Roy mentioned[1], another means of talking about representations
may also be useful.

BTW, I don't think we're covering any new territory here from the
httpRange-14 discussion, so if you want to continue, I suggest we take
it to www-talk.  Followups set accordingly.

Thanks.

 [1] for all the looking, I can't find it, but I remember Roy talking
     about a means of saying "the result of the GET operation on this
     URI" so that assertions could be made about it without a URI
     being provided.

MB
-- 
Mark Baker.   Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.        http://www.markbaker.ca
Web architecture consulting, technical reports, evaluation & analysis
Received on Monday, 30 December 2002 20:11:01 GMT

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