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RE: Arch Doc: 26 September 2003 Editor's Draft

From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) <clbullar@ingr.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 16:54:53 -0500
Message-ID: <15725CF6AFE2F34DB8A5B4770B7334EE03F9ECF2@hq1.pcmail.ingr.com>
To: "'Ian B. Jacobs'" <ij@w3.org>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org

I'm not exactly objecting.  It just feels 'academic' or 'researchy'.
To Roy's collective of researchers, it may feel fine, but it doesn't 
have any definitional meat because it uses a term abducted from a 
different application domain.

My main discomfort is "the world wide web is an information space".

1.  It conflates the information with the systems.  The World Wide 
Web is a collection of three systems which when used collectively 
enable the identification, retrieval and interaction with resources.
In a Shannonesque sense, the WWW is a collection of selectors, not 
the choices.  Information is a product of the system, not its 
constituent parts.

2.  It introduces terminology from the visualization field where 
the term has concrete representation to WWW definitions as an abstraction. 
Is the World Wide Web a system of systems or an abstraction for 
all the resources that can be identified, retrieved and interacted 
when using it?

I like it because it will incentivize the application of X3D to 
visualization of resources, but that's my predilection for 
visualization systems, not a logical distinction.  Unfortunately, 
every time I try to make it more distinct, I make it more abstract.

It's too late on Friday afternoon to do this properly.  Give it 
a weekend.


From: Ian B. Jacobs [mailto:ij@w3.org]

On Fri, 2003-09-26 at 17:01, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> I guess we have to live with the imprecision of 
> natural language where terms are related out 
> of context to cope with our inability to express 
> a logical definition.  Selah.
> "The World Wide Web is an information space."
> So is the trunk of our Ford Focus after my 
> wife loads it up with bags of bar coded groceries.
> If all of the 'documents' that can be retrieved 
> by dereferencing a URI were to simultaneously 
> disappear, what would be left?

In tweaking Roy's proposal, I hoped to call out
more clearly three concepts that have been discussed
lately: information space, information system, and
web architecture. They are not precisely defined
in this draft of the document, but there is a clearer
sense (thanks to comments from folks on the list)
that the info space is shared by more than one info

Whatever those are. 

I expect we will either be more precise about what
those are, or decide we don't need to be.

Suggestions welcome!

 _ Ian

Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                     +1 718 260-9447
Received on Friday, 26 September 2003 17:55:43 UTC

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