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Re: ISSUE-57: The use of HTTP Redirection

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 12:40:41 -0500
Message-Id: <p0623092bc2fe0079b692@[10.100.0.16]>
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Cc: Ed Davies <edavies@nildram.co.uk>, Technical Architecture Group WG <www-tag@w3.org>

>On 2007-08 -30, at 19:16, Pat Hayes wrote:
>
>>
>>>Richard Cyganiak wrote:
>>>>2. This boils down to a question wether to provide a 
>>>>representation of a resource, or instead provide an associated 
>>>>description of the resource (by means of a 303 redirect or hash 
>>>>truncation). What is the  difference between a representation and 
>>>>a description?
>>>
>>>A representation _is_ the thing (to some not quite fully
>>>defined level of approximation)
>>
>>I really hope you are wrong about this. If you aren't, then 
>>everything written about the nature of representation for the past, 
>>say, 100 years, has been mistaken.
>
>We are using 'representation' in a specific sense, different from 
>the various english senses with which it may or not have been used. 
>It is a relationship used in web architecture, which not been 
>discussed in th last 100 years a lot.

Fair enough, but since this word is SO widely used in its more normal 
senses, even in these discussion threads, it might be a good idea to 
put it in scare quotes or somehow indicate that you are using it in a 
special technical sense, when in fact you do use it that way. For 
example, when we are talking about URIs used inside RDF and OWL, the 
word "represent" in its various forms gets so overloaded that it is 
almost impossible to find out what anyone (including yourself, at 
times) actually means by it on any particular occasion. In this 
special TAG sense of Represent, knowledge can't be Represented, and 
RDF and OWL can't possibly Represent *anything*; yet they are both 
widely and correctly considered to be "knowledge representation 
languages". No wonder we have trouble understanding one another.

>>One of the most basic assumptions of just about everyone who has 
>>written anything on semiotics or semantics is that the 
>>representation of something is distinct from the thing represented. 
>>Korzybski summed it up in a famous maxim of 'general semantics': 
>>"the map is not the territory".
>>
>
>This is true if the web arch sense of representation, but it is NOT 
>used for the relationship between the territory and the map, but 
>between the map and a Representation (a pair of some metadata and a 
>sequence of bits).

Well, not that I hold much of a candle for Korzybski, but his theory 
is pretty damn general; so if the TAG's "Represent" is outside the 
scope of General Semantics, then it really is an *extremely* marginal 
and peculiar usage.

Pat

>
>[...]
>>The REST theory uses 'representation' in a special, highly 
>>restricted, way: but even so, it is careful to distinguish the 
>>resource itself (eg a web page) from its various representations 
>>(what you get sent when you do a GET on that page's URI)
>
>Exactly.
>Tim
>
>>
>>Pat Hayes


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Received on Friday, 31 August 2007 17:41:02 GMT

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