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Re: Information resources?

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 16:30:13 -0400
Message-Id: <200409082030.i88KUETg016648@roke.hawke.org>
To: "Chris Wilper" <cwilper@cs.cornell.edu>
cc: "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>, www-tag@w3.org

> The way the document reads, an information resource is like a frbr:expression
> and a representation is like a frbr:manifestation.  If that's what intended
> then perhaps some references to those concepts would be good instead of "a
> thing that conveys information".  After all, President Bush conveys
> information but you obviously would not call him an information resource.
> - Chris
> [1] Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records
>     http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/frbr/default.htm#background 
>     FRBR Defines:
>     * the work, a distinct intellectual or artistic creation
>     * the expression, the intellectual or artistic realization of a work
>     * the manifestation, the physical embodiment of an expression of a work
>     * the item, a single exemplar of a manifestation.
>     - a work is realized through one or more expressions 
>       - each of which is embodied in one or more manifestations 
>         - each of which is exemplified by one or more items. 

That doesn't seem quite right.  A represention is bytes, not something
physical, and I don't think a set of meteorological readings (which
should be an InformationResource) would count as an frbr:expression.

I'm all for some better text, however, so I proposed some this
afternoon.  [1].    I'll quote it here, since it seems rather
relevant, and this is the better list of public discussion.

I believe my text is in line with what TimBL is saying in this thread,
although I wrote it before reading his postings.

   An "Information Resource" is a collection of information
   potentially transmittable via a computer network.  Digital forms of
   creative works (such as documents and images) are Information
   Resources, while certain conceptual entities (such as numbers and
   RDF properties) are not.  This distinction is becoming useful as
   people develop ways to use URIs to identify things which are not
   Information Resources.

   Physical objects and phenomena (eg sound) are not Information
   Resources, but they may be measured or otherwise used to produce
   information which can form Information Resources.  A hand written
   note is not an Information Resource, but a digital scan of it is.
   The weather at a particular place (a physical phenomenon) is not an
   Information Resource, but a collection of measurements or
   predictions of the weather are.  In the strictest sense, a
   computer-controlled "web-accessable" coffee-maker is not an
   Information Resource, but its counters, timers, and the readings of
   its sensors are.  The coffee-maker itself might have scratches,
   stains, and be positioned in a particular way on the counter, but
   it is the counters, timers, and sensor readings which are used to
   generate the web page.
   Information Resources are the only kind of resources which can have
   representations.  The number 1, which is not an Information
   Resource, might be said to be represented by the two-octet sequence
   0x0001, but not in the sense of "representation" used in this
   document.  A web-accessible control dial, set to "1", might respond
   to HTTP GET requests with a representation of its state: 0x0001.
   In this example, 0x0001 acts an identifier for the number 1 within
   the data format being used.  An HTTP GET of a URI for the number 1
   itself could meaningfully be met with an error or redirect, but not
   with a representation.

                     -- sandro

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webarch-comments/2004JulSep/0057.html
Received on Wednesday, 8 September 2004 20:28:08 UTC

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