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RE: More on distinguishing information resources from other resources

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 17:18:46 -0500
To: Jonathan Borden <jonathan@openhealth.org>
Cc: "'Henry S. Thompson'" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, 'www-tag' <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1119997126.5150.249.camel@localhost>

On Tue, 2005-06-28 at 17:53 -0400, Jonathan Borden wrote:
> Dan,
> 
> > I think it's plain that Mark is not an information resource, 
> > so there's something of a contradiction, or at least a potential
> contradiction, here.
> 
> I expect that if we outfitted Mark with a heads up display and keyboard that
> allowed him to view HTTP GET requests to http://www.markbaker.ca/ that he
> would be perfectly capable as acting as a standards compliant, if not a tad
> slow, HTTP 1.1 server. In that case he *would* in fact be an information
> resource, no? ***

No. He's made of atoms, not (just) bits.

I think the definition is pretty clear
http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-webarch-20041215/#def-information-resource

Perhaps some of the points I made leading up to that definition
are helpful...

[[
Dan suggested that a a textual work can be consumed over the web in a
way that a table cannot; if you see a table and a movie in a product
catalog, while you can learn about the table using HTTP, you can never
consume it to the point where you owe the vendor the price in the
catalog, while with information resources, you can consume them to the
point where you owe the price just by observing representations.
]]
 -- http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2004/10/05-07-tag#infores2

I suppose that example doesn't explain how something like
google's search service is an information resource; you can't
consume google's whole service in one HTTP transaction, or even
in several billion.

All this stuff about "essential characteristics" makes me a little
uneasy, but we didn't manage to swap in enough information theory
to define it in terms of bits (and time).

Google's search service _is_ an information resource; i.e. it's
a supply of bits. Only if you could somehow predict all the responses
google will give in the future to all requests would you
possess google's service in the way that the catalog shopper possesses
the table.


> 
> Jonathan
> 
> *** I am framing a sort of Turing test for information resources :-))
-- 
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
D3C2 887B 0F92 6005 C541  0875 0F91 96DE 6E52 C29E
Received on Tuesday, 28 June 2005 22:18:51 GMT

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