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Re: [Fwd: RE: "information resource"]

From: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 14:06:14 -0400 (EDT)
To: "Roy T.Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>
cc: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>, <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0410161352340.20287-100000@tribal.metalab.unc.edu>

I think Mark's point about the medical record can be turned around on its 
head pretty easily. For example, a doctor may write on the note at time 
t1, and this does not ofcourse effect an XML document made of the record
at an earlier point (t0). However, this can happen in reverse: the XML 
document version of the medical record (t0) could be sent over the Net to 
another doctor, who then writes another note on the XML document (at time 
t2) that *is not* on the original note (t0). Does this mean that this new,
 updated XML document (t2) is still a "representation" of some 
medical record (t0). Even if the original (t0) is modified later (at t1)? 
Is not the XML document (t2) *a medical record* in its own right, albeit a 
different one from both the original(t0) and another modified version(t1),
in its own right? So I'm not sure how the use of the word "representation" 
has any real meaning in this case, except in the technical sense that 
for the XML copies (assuming they have URIs) an HTTP GET gets you 
something. As the more philosophical use of the "representation" meaning 
"a representation of", I think that use of the word only confuses things. 
"Information resource" may be a pointless concept, but if "resource"
is defined to be anything, there should clearly be different words that
denote different kinds of resources commonly used, such as resources
with or without representations, resources that are or are not web 
accessible, and so on as needed. And issues of time and identity are, as 
the lessons AI should have taught us, remarkably thorny issues. 


On Fri, 15 Oct 2004, Roy T.Fielding wrote:

> On Oct 15, 2004, at 8:10 PM, Mark Baker wrote:
> > On Fri, Oct 15, 2004 at 02:27:35AM -0400, Harry Halpin wrote:
> >> If you have my medical record and take it from a piece of
> >> paper and put in into some database, then general an XML file from 
> >> that
> >> database that flies across the Web, that XML file is *my medical 
> >> record*
> >> in the same sense that the original paper version is and not *a
> >> representation of my medical record*. In fact, the word 
> >> *representation
> >> of my medical record* doesn't even make much sense, does it?
> >
> > I believe it does.  If you subsequently (to the above taking place) 
> > paid
> > a visit to your doctor and she wrote a note in your record, the XML
> > document wouldn't be updated.  This is because the data crossed a trust
> > boundary when it was translated into XML, just as it would if you made 
> > a
> > photocopy of it.  Therefore it's not your medical record, but just a
> > representation of it at some point in time.
> I was just about to give the same example.  Temporal issues are at
> the heart of most misunderstandings about resources, in spite of the
> fact that the reason they are called resources is because of an
> expectation of *future* use.
> > ...
> > I continue to maintain that "information resource" is a pointless
> > concept.
> So do I, but I removed my objection to including it in webarch on
> condition that the reason for the definition also be provided, so
> that folks who don't care for the reason won't have to worry about it.
> Cheers,
> Roy T. Fielding                            <http://roy.gbiv.com/>
> Chief Scientist, Day Software              <http://www.day.com/>

	Harry Halpin
	Informatics, University of Edinburgh 	
Received on Saturday, 16 October 2004 18:06:21 UTC

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