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Re: [httpRange-14] What is an Information Resource?

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2007 02:30:00 -0800
Message-Id: <p06230937c38d4e8edb72@[]>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Cc: Mikael Nilsson <mikael@nilsson.name>, noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com, "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@miscoranda.com>, www-tag@w3.org

>Pat Hayes wrote:
>>>Can we please have some clarification here?
>>Im as confused as you are. It seems to me that the whole story 
>>about 'information resources' is muddled. I don't know what an 
>>"essential characteristic" is. I was just responding to the ideas 
>>as best I can.
>>I would prefer to simply say that some HTTP endpoints are 
>>considered to be resources, while others are not.
>I guess you mean "information resources" here; all things are 
>resources, still (in RDF/OWL speak)?

No, I really did mean resources. If my URI is intended to denote, 
say, Jupiter, then Jupiter is a resource (though that terminology 
should change, IMO). But the thingie that catches my URI and 
redirects it to something else, emitting a 303 as it does so: THAT 
thing is not a resource at all, not even an information resource. Or 
at any rate, if it is one, then you can only refer to it with a 
different URI, because my URI denotes Jupiter.

>>The first kind should emit 200 responses, the second kind should not.
>  > Never mind trying to characterize
>>in some metaphysical sense exactly what makes something be one of 
>>the first kind or not: we will never get this perfectly straight, 
>>so why bother trying. We can give some canonical examples, to wit, 
>>web pages; but we have to recognize that there can be others, and 
>>the category has to be open-ended as technology keeps changing it. 
>>However, its easier to find examples of the second kind, viz. any 
>>'resource' which cannot possibly be an HTTP endpoint.
>Erm, eh, huh, etc? do you mean "possibly be an HTTP endpoint of the 
>non-information-resource type"? Or I'm as confused as you are :)

OK, I should have said, cannot possibly be an endpoint of any 
transfer protocol. I tend to treat the entire Web as made of HTTP and 
nothing else, which I know is a mistake, sorry.

>you seem to be using "endpoint" in two ways here. Initially as 
>something like "http name", ie. used for all things that are named 
>with "http://".

No, I mean it strictly in the sense of a network entity to which a 
URI can be transmitted and which can then emit a coded response. A 
piece of hard-, soft- or firmware physically connected to the 
Internet. The canonical example is a website.

>Then at the end you talk about http-namable things that can't be 
>endpoints. This is the usage I prefer btw; since endpoint sounds 
>like a bit of technical network-engineer plumbing.

Yes, as it should. This is all about network plumbing. Denotation is 
easy, its the plumbing that is so complicated.

>Aside: what do we make of data: URIs?

I have no idea :-) I need to find out more about them. But this is 
all about http-range-14, right? That was the only reason for 
inventing the awful term 'information resource'.


>On the TAG webarch definition, they seem canonical examples of 
>information resources; but they lack many of the other 
>characteristics of HTTP-based information resources, ie. they are 
>endpoint-free, don't have conneg, etc.

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Received on Tuesday, 18 December 2007 10:30:16 UTC

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