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Re: new text for Information Resource (section 3.1)

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2004 08:15:44 -0400
Message-Id: <200409091215.i89CFiCn024989@roke.hawke.org>
To: Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com
cc: www-tag@w3.org

[moved to www-tag from public-webarch-comments]

> A representation reflects the state of a resource. I see no reason why
> a URI can't denote the actual coffee-maker (not its counters, timers, etc.)
> and have that URI resolve to a representation of the coffee-maker, reflecting
> its state (its counters, timers, etc.)

As I understand physics (at about the 2nd year level), the actual
coffee-maker is made up of atoms, and we cannot encode the state of
even a single atom in a finite sequence of octets.  In classical
physics, the state would have to be encoded in real numbers, which are
often infinite.  In quantum mechanics, the state is also unknowable --
it's theoretically impossible to measure the state beyond a certain

What you are talking about encoding is the state of some abstract
model of the coffee maker, and I'm fine with that -- but then your URI
is for an abstract model -- a kind of conceptual entity, not a
physical object.  Maybe I could clarify my text to say how such
conceptual models are information.

Arguably, my notion of the coffee-maker is also an abstract model, but
that doesn't weaken my argument.  I do not believe you can build wide
consensus on an approach to modelling physical objects in which their
state can be encoded in a finite sequence of octets.

     -- sandro
Received on Thursday, 9 September 2004 12:13:31 UTC

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