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RE: boundaries for the Web

From: David Orchard <david.orchard@bea.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 21:49:09 -0800
To: "'Mark Nottingham'" <mnot@mnot.net>
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <060b01c1d165$4a34c940$420ba8c0@beasys.com>
Mark,

Interesting points.  I think some people want to put up boundaries because
things are evolving in ways that they find deeply troubling and misguided,
and they would like to see some of this evolution conducted in forums other
than the W3C.

However, the W3C member organizations and external funding agencies (like
DARPA) have made it very clear that there are various areas of expansion
that they are interested in pursuing, that they believe are part of the web,
and that the development should occur at the W3C.  The Ontology Working
group has 50 members listed and the Web Services Architecture group has
about 65 members, to point out 2 working groups in different areas of
expansion that have clear interest.

Cheers,
Dave

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-tag-request@w3.org
> [mailto:www-tag-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of
> Mark Nottingham
> Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 6:29 PM
> To: Simon St.Laurent
> Cc: www-tag@w3.org
> Subject: Re: boundaries for the Web
>
>
> If the W3C believes that the Web architecture can be
> documented and is
> ready to be documented now, the result should be complete and
> accurate.
> Constraining the Web with REST or markup or people-as-agents
> will make
> everyone's job easier in the short term, but it limits the
> W3C and the
> Web in the long term.
>
> The Consortium is quite resource-constrained right now, and
> this could
> be one mechanism of addressing that; IMHO, however, it is an inferior
> one. I'd like to see issues addressed on their own merits, on a
> case-by-case basis, rather than having a constraining architecture
> making the decisions ahead of time.
>
> Put another way; is there a good reason for putting up
> boundaries, other
> than as a means to allocate resources?
>
>
>
> On Thursday, March 21, 2002, at 04:36  PM, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
>
> > On Thu, 2002-03-21 at 18:13, Dan Connolly wrote:
> >> I wonder what makes you say that... from what I can tell, this sort
> >> of description of the Web has been used pretty consistently,
> >> since before W3C was even formed:
> >
> > I think the W3C's own continuous growth into new areas is a
> good example
> > of the lack of boundaries in its understanding of the Web.
> >
> >>> well beyond the common understanding of the
> >>> Web among developers.
> >>
> >> Could you elaborate on that? What do developers think about the
> >> Web that conflicts with the stuff in section 1?
> >
> > I'd suggest that most developers still think of the Web as
> a mechanism
> > for exchanging information with a human being at the client end.
> >
> >> If they think the Web is just HTTP and HTML, then I think
> >> that's an unfortunately limited view of the Web, and I hope
> >> to persuade them to broaden their view a bit.
> >
> > I don't know that the W3C has ever attempted to reach (and
> certainly not
> > include) most developers, so persuasion might be a good start.
> >
> >>>  The definition above applies to the Internet as
> >>> well as the Web and to any number of other networked systems.
> >>
> >> The bit you excerpted does, but you clipped perhaps
> >> the most relevant part:
> >>
> >>   Web Architecture is the set of rules that all agents in
> >>   the system follow that result in the large-scale effect
> >>   of a shared information space.
> >
> > Unfortunately that doesn't provide any constraints whatsoever on the
> > definition of "Web".  Saying that the "Web" is whatever
> conforms to "Web
> > architecture" is more or less an invitation to "Web
> architects" to do
> > what they like.
> >
> > I suspect it's clear that I'm unhappy with a situation
> where "Web" means
> > "whatever the W3C feels like doing".
> >
> >>> I would like to request that the TAG establish in this document a
> >>> definition of "the Web" that includes clear boundaries
> for the Web -
> >>> what is the Web, and what is not the Web.
> >>
> >> Any suggestions?
> >>
> >> The main things that I can think of that are not Web Architecture
> >> are technologies that are local to one system; i.e. cut-and-paste
> >> desktop standards, CGI and other inside-the-server stuff. Is that
> >> the sort of boundary you had in mind?
> >
> > Heck, I see CGI as far more Web-oriented than Web Services or the
> > Semantic Web.  I think we'd be better off looking at questions about
> > what exactly the Web does to figure out what the Web is.
> >
> >> Another fairly clear boundary is that if URIs don't figure
> >> in somehow, it's pretty disconnected from Web Archtecture. e.g.
> >> TCP, french minitel, AOL, etc.
> >
> > That's hardly a boundary - it lets anything using URIs in,
> which can be
> > pretty nearly _anything_.
> >
> > So what is the Web?
> >
> > Conservatively, I'd suggest that:
> > The Web is a hypertext-based system built around the
> Hypertext Transfer
> > Protocol which uses a combination of marked-up information
> and software
> > to convey information to people.
> >
> > I'm quite aware that definition is constraining, but I'd be happy to
> > hear others which provide constraints.
> >
> > --
> > Simon St.Laurent
> > Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
> > Errors, errors, all fall down!
> > http://simonstl.com
> >
> >
> --
> Mark Nottingham
> http://www.mnot.net/
>
>
Received on Friday, 22 March 2002 00:51:08 GMT

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