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Re: The meaning of "representation" (was: HTTP URIs and authority)

From: Dave Pawson <dave.pawson@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2007 07:56:10 +0000
Message-ID: <711a73df0711242356g62ec7627g286022d73f39bc6c@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org

On 25/11/2007, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org> wrote:

> <http://dfdf.inesc-id.pt/tr/web-arch> a :MisguidedDocument.

> <http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes/PatHayes"> a:FalseDocument.

OK, Tim says they're both wrong.

> Well, the mapping between th conceptual resource
> In fact, the relationship includes social as well as technical aspects.
> It also is defined, often, by high-level protocols.
> These higher level protocols set common expectations between the
> publisher and the reader.  These are not consistent across the web.
> That is why you can't simplistically just give a formula for that
> relationship.

Or any clearly understood relationship?

> Take my FOAF file,
> <http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/card>

> In fact when you get any representation of that document, the semantics of
> that representation will:
> - Contain information about me which others may find generally useful
> - Contain an amount of data it is reasonable to download over the net in
> typical circumstances
> -  Not contain lots of other random stuff to waste your time
> - Include recent updates but not necessarily be complete
> - Be imperfect
> - Include things fixed which people have pointed out to me
> - Mention public acquaintances but not all personal friends
> - Have exactly the same RDF triples independent of which content-type is
> dereferenced.
> - Include pointers to acquaintances' FOAF files so you can explore the
> linked data graph;
> - Contain normally the same things as it did yesterday. Incremental change.

> It involves all sorts of out of band concepts.

> The use of web pages, data or HTML, the operation of these sort of
> invariant, these sort of expectations.
> These expectations are very important to the web working.   That's why you
> can't just write down a formula for the constraint on the representations of
> a given resource.

Does one really follow from the other?

> The AWWW tried to explain how these things work.
> As we write more and more semantic web software,  one can to a greater
> extent see the way things work exposed in the software.

But they can't be explained?

> The very important class of documents, Information Resources, works, is very
> important in our society.  Works have properties including licensing,
> ownership, authorship, distribution, access control, licensing, review, and
> so on.

So it's important, pretty central to TAG work... yet it can't be
explained by some pretty smart people?

Tim, IMHO that makes something very wrong. Somewhere.

You make it sound as if its a bit of mumbo jumbo that we'll understand
if only we were initiates?

Perhaps it's just me.


Dave Pawson
Received on Sunday, 25 November 2007 07:56:21 UTC

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