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RE: "information resource"

From: Stuart Williams <skw@hp.com>
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2004 11:09:23 +0100
Message-ID: <41402BD3.5080109@hp.com>
To: Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com, michael@neonym.net
CC: www-tag@w3.org

Hello Patrick,

Just catching up on this thread...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-tag-request@w3.org [mailto:www-tag-request@w3.org] 
> On Behalf Of Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com
> Sent: 2 September 2004 17:43
> To: Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com; michael@neonym.net
> Cc: www-tag@w3.org
> Subject: RE: "information resource"
> An explicit question:
> Given the URI http://example.com/someDog which I assert 
> denotes a particular dog (an actual animal), if one is able 
> to submit the request
> GET /someDog HTTP/1.1
> Host: example.com
> and in a successful response, one receives a JPEG image of 
> the dog in question, does http://example.com/someDog denote 
> an "information resource"?
> --
> My reading of the latest draft of AWWW leads me to conclude 
> yes, it does. The actual dog is, according to AWWW, an 
> "information resource".

By the document I think that you would find that the resource identified
by http://examples.com/someDog is an information resource. I'm not sure
that the document takes any position with respect to the veracity of the
assertion that the URI " denotes a particular dog (an actual animal)".

AFAICT neither the word "denote" or the word "denotation" occur in AWWW.

> (leaving aside the issue of whether such a conclusion will 
> confuse  or disturb anyone, I wish to focus on another, 
> deeper and more  serious point of confusion and tension that 
> has been reflected  in this thread)
> TimBL seems to be arguing that no, it does not (or should 
> not) be considered an "information resource", because a dog 
> is not a document, or image, or similar kind of resource.

That lies at the heart of the so-far unresolved TAG issue httpRange-14.

> The fact that both I and TimBL come to different conclusions 
> based on the same document indicates that there is a problem 
> with the definition of "information resource".

I think that the document takes no position on whether or not an HTTP
URI such as the one you cite may or may not be used to denote/identify
an actual dog.

> And I would like to explore what I think is the source of 
> this confusion and conflict.

<exploration culled_for_now/>

 > The TAG needs to make a decision on this issue.
 > Either "resources" (a) can be anything that can be named, including
 > abstract concepts, astrological bodies, persons, etc. and URIs
 > can denote anything or (b) they must be constrained to things that
 > correspond to "bodies of information" which can be expressed in a
 > digital form accessible via the web, and URIs can denote only such
 > bodies of information.

AWWW has taken a position on that. AWWW says:

"We do not limit the scope of what might be a resource. The term 
"resource" is used in a general sense for whatever might be identified 
by a URI."

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/webarch/#id-resources

 > The latest draft of AWWW still attempts to accomodate both
 > views, leaving far too much to interpretation -- and
 > perpetuating the present chaos by allowing those holding view (a)
 > and those holding view (b) to both reference the same document
 > as supposedly supporting their view/interpretation and use the same
 > terms as defined by that document -- yet *still* in actuality
 > disagree about critically fundamental aspects of web architecture.

AFAICT tell AWWWW clearly takes position (a) above. Can you show me 
something in the document that advances position (b)?

 > The interchanges in this very thread illustrate this continuing
 > ambiguity in AWWW and the very real conflicts of interpretation.
 > AWWW should resolve these conflicts of view/interpretation, not
 > perpetuate them by distilling the wording until either interpretation
 > is possible.
 > Continuing to accomodate the "resource = body of information" view,
 > however implicitly hidden in clever wording, is simply going to
 > perpetuate the confusion and prolong the pain...

Should I interpret that to mean a "body of information" in your view 
cannot be a resource (...of any kind)?

> Respectfully,
> Patrick Stickler
> Nokia, Finland
> patrick.stickler@nokia.com

Best regards

Stuart Williams
Received on Thursday, 9 September 2004 10:12:45 UTC

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