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Bristol action: Write up text on information hiding/abstraction for intro

From: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 10:52:43 -0400
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-id: <871xt5s4sk.fsf@nwalsh.com>

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Here's my cut. I suggest that this occur just before 1.1 and I believe
replaces 4.3.

Identification, interaction, and representation are orthogonal
concepts: an identifier can be assigned without knowning what
representations are available, agents can interact with any
identifier, and representations can change without regard to the
identifiers or interactions that may dereference them.

Orthogonality is an important principle in web architecture. It
facilitates a flexible design that can evolve over time. The fact, for
example, that the an image can be identified using a URI without
needing any information about the representation of that image allowed
PNG and SVG to evolve independent of the specifications that define
image tags.

Specifications should identify orthogonal abstractions. For example,
the header and body of a message are, to a large extent, orthoginal
concepts. It's valuable that HTML and SOAP have both identified the
concepts of header and body.

Specifications should preserve orthogonal abstractions to the largest
extent practical. When it is necessary for a specification to define a
feature that simultaneously accesses information from otherwise
orthogonal abstractions, for example a feature that requires
information from both the header and the body of a message or a
feature that needs to infer information about the representations of a
URI that are available, the fact that it is "peeking" across
architectural boundaries should be clearly identified.

                                        Be seeing you,
                                          norm

- -- 
Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM    | Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology
XML Standards Architect | of the cancer cell.--Edward Abbey
Web Tech. and Standards |
Sun Microsystems, Inc.  | 
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Received on Wednesday, 22 October 2003 10:55:59 GMT

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