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Re: Uniform access to descriptions

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 08:40:52 -0400
To: wangxiao@musc.edu
Cc: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, Phil Archer <parcher@icra.org>, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, "Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)" <skw@hp.com>, "www-tag@w3.org WG" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFFC2144D8.3B70F51D-ON85257428.00450982-85257428.00459411@lotus.com>

Xiaoshu Wang writes:

> HTTP protocol is a transportation protocol.
> Hence, the semantics of HTTP should be ALL about delivering 
> message and its parsing and it should have nothing to do with 
> judging its content. 

Hmm.  I would have said that HTTP is an application-level protocol. 
Otherwise, why distinguish PUT from POST or DELETE?  What they transport 
isn't much different, except that with delete there is seldom need for 
much information beyond the identifier of the resource.  If it were just a 
transportation protocol, then all we would need is well typed messages, 
and we could encode operations in those messages if we wished to.  I'm not 
sure I'd use your phrase "judging its content", but HTTP operations are 
applied to Web resources, and the status codes properly reflect 
information about that interaction.  The fact that certain operations 
cannot be successfully performed on certain classes of resources, and that 
the status codes therefore (if properly used) allow one at times to infer 
information about the nature of the resources, all seem fine to me.  If we 
were talking about TCP, I would for the most part agree with you.

Noah



--------------------------------------
Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
1-617-693-4036
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Received on Friday, 11 April 2008 12:40:49 GMT

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