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Re: URI aliases: suggested text for webarch 2.3.1

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 14:11:58 -0700
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
To: "Thompson, Bryan B." <BRYAN.B.THOMPSON@saic.com>
Message-Id: <EA5E11AA-EB11-11D8-8B5A-000393753936@gbiv.com>

> Is this meant to describe a situation in which a complex "resource" is
> revealed through a
> set of URIs, all of which encode some state that lets the server
> disambiguate which view
> of the resource to send to the client.

No, those are different resources.

> For example, the entire telephone directory is available, perhaps as
> RDF/XML, from:
>
> http://www.mytelco.com/phonebook
>
> However using one mechanism or another, the server is willing to send a
> representation of
> all phonebook information for a person, business, zip code, city, 
> state,
> etc.  E.g.,
>
> http://www.mytelco.com/phonebook/people/Your%20Name
> http://www.mytelco.com/phonebook/biz/Your%20Biz%20Name
> http://www.mytelco.com/phonebook/zip/20009
> http://www.mytelco.com/phonebook/state/CA
>
> So, these URIs all "alias" the parts of the state (a phone book) on the
> server.  Is this
> something that the text, below, is meant to be critical of?

Each of those URIs identify different resources.  The notion of a
resource for an information retrieval does not correspond to some
data stored on the server.  Rather, it corresponds to what is
anticipated by those references.  A reference to "the 92009 part
of the phonebook" is clearly different from a reference to the
entire phonebook, even if the entire phonebook currently consists
of numbers within 92009.  That would only be an alias if the
phonebook was already specific to 92009, such as

    http://www.mytelco.com/phonebook/zip/20009
    http://www.mytelco.com/phonebook?zip=20009

In that case, providing the same resource at both URI, as opposed
to providing a redirect from the second URI to the first, is harmful
for the reasons described.

....Roy
Received on Tuesday, 10 August 2004 21:12:03 GMT

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