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Re: The range of the HTTP dereference function

From: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 10:13:41 -0600
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
CC: <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B8BCBFD5.29D03%me@aaronsw.com>
On 2002-03-19 8:50 AM, "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org> wrote:

> Here is my argument the HTTP URIs (without "#") should be understood as
> referring to documents, not cars.

Just looking for trouble, eh? ;-)

I'd be interesting to see quotes from the HTTP spec to support this, because
everything I've read indicates otherwise.

[on using HTTP URIs to represent things like cars]
> - This is not what people do at the moment.

To the contrary, people say things like:

Who's <http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/>?
Oh, that's Tim, he's Director of the W3C.

What's at <http://www.apple.com/imac/>?
Oh, that's the new iMac.
 
> - The properties of HTTP are useful to know, and to be able
> to infer things from.  For example, if I ask
> { <telnet://telnet.example.org> log:contents ?x } -> { ?x a :Interesting }.
> then software would be allowed to infer, from the fact that a telnet URI is
> involved that there will be no defined contents.

Sure, perhaps this is true of generic telnet URIs, but the HTTP spec makes
very clear that an HTTP URI can identify anything.
 
> Why do you want to extend the range of http URI dereference to cars?

We don't want to extend it -- it already is that way!
 
> http2://www.w3.org/foo could be defined to have return codes
> "Here is the contents of x which is a document" and "Here is some
> information about x"
> so that as a superset of HTTP it could provide a space in which
> abstract objects existed.
> 
> But http1.1 does not have that and that fact is a useful one to record, I
> think

No, it does. Take for example the 200 code:

"""
10.2.1 200 OK

   The request has succeeded. The information returned with the response
   is dependent on the method used in the request, for example:

   GET    an entity corresponding to the requested resource is sent in
          the response;
""" - http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2616

Now, we can argue what "corresponding" means, but Roy Fielding has been
pretty clear on the subject:

"""
 
> In this way, Resource in URI and Resource in RDF can be similarly anything,
> but we have an important concept of a <part of the Web information space>
> <document?> or whatever.
> Tim
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 

-- 
      "Aaron Swartz"      |               Swhack Weblog
 <mailto:me@aaronsw.com>  |   <http://blogspace.com/swhack/weblog/>
<http://www.aaronsw.com/> |      something different every day
Received on Tuesday, 19 March 2002 11:13:44 GMT

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