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RE: referendum on httpRange-14 (was RE: "information resource")

From: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 11:09:04 +0300
Message-ID: <1E4A0AC134884349A21955574A90A7A50ADD43@trebe051.ntc.nokia.com>
To: <timbl@w3.org>, <sandro@w3.org>
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>, <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>



> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-tag-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:www-tag-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of
> ext Tim Berners-Lee
> Sent: 18 October, 2004 22:03
> To: Sandro Hawke
> Cc: www-tag@w3.org; Norman Walsh
> Subject: Re: referendum on httpRange-14 (was RE: "information 
> resource")
> 
> 
> 
> The range of HTTP is not a question of belief, It is a question of 
> design.
> The Web was designed such that the Universal Document Identifiers 
> identified documents.
> This was refined to generalize the word "Document" to the 
> unfortunately 
> rather information-free "Resource".
> The design is still the same.
> The web works when person (a) publishes a picture of a dog, 
> person (b) 
> bookmarks it, mails the URI to person (c) assuming that they will see 
> more or less the same picture, not the weight of the dog.
> 
> That is why, while the dog is closely related to the picture, 
> it is not 
> what is identified, in the web architecture, by the URI.
> 
> There is a reason.
> 
> Tim

Fine. And if the URI used to publish the *picture* of the dog
identifies the *picture* of the dog, then one would presume to
GET a representation of the *picture* of the dog. No argument
there, obviously.

Getting the weight of the dog via a URI identifying a picture of 
the dog would be unexpected (arguably incorrect) behavior per 
*either* view of this debate. So your example does not argue for 
or against either view.

Also, using a particular URI to identify the *picture* of a dog
does *not* preclude someone using some *other* URI to identify the
*actual* dog and to publish various representations of that dog via
the URI of the actual dog itself; and someone bookmarking the
URI of the *actual* dog should derive just as much benefit
from someone bookmarking the URI of the *picture* of the dog,
even if the representations published via either URI differ
(as one would expect, since they identify different things).

I think it is a major, significant, and beneficial breakthrough
in the evolution of the web that the architecture *was* generalized
to the more general class of resources -- so that users can
name, talk about, and provide access to representations of, any
thing whatsoever.

To ask a pointed question, Tim, do you believe that the web cannot
evolve beneficially in a direction beyond your original design?

The core of your argument seems to be "Because the web was not
originally designed to do that, it cannot and should not do that".

Yet actual practice and deployed solutions demonstrate that there 
is clear benefit to the more generalized model; and there does
not appear to be any substantial evidence that applying that
more generalized model is harmful or problemmatic to the actual
real-world functioning of the web, or that the narrower, more 
restricted (original) model is clearly better.

If you, or anyone, feels that there *is* evidence either showing
how the more generalized view is harmful, or how the narrower
(original) view is better, then I would love to see it. 

Regards,

Patrick
Received on Tuesday, 19 October 2004 08:11:02 UTC

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