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Re: Uniform access to descriptions

From: Xiaoshu Wang <wangxiao@musc.edu>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 09:50:32 +0100
Message-ID: <4801C958.9050300@musc.edu>
To: Michaeljohn Clement <mj@mjclement.com>
CC: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, "www-tag@w3.org WG" <www-tag@w3.org>, noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com, Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, Phil Archer <parcher@icra.org>, "Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)" <skw@hp.com>



Michaeljohn Clement wrote:
> Xiaoshu Wang wrote:
>   
>> Michaeljohn Clement wrote:
>>     
>>> - Is this view an accurate view of the Web which exists?   A goal?  Or
>>> simply an alternative, interesting idea?
>>>
>>> (I would say only the latter.  And I thought I detected a bit of a
>>> gleam in your eye, Pat, throughout.)
>>>   
>>>       
>> Honestly, does it matter? (I.e., if it is accurate or not?)
>>     
>
> Yes.  The Web is based on shared standards and conventions, and if you 
> base your conventions on a model different from the one the rest of the 
> Web is using, things stop working together.
>
>   
>> Neither Pat
>> nor I have re-invented and demanded any re-invention of anything new. 
>>     
>
> Your redefinition of "resource" and "representation" to me is a new 
> re-invention of the Web.
>   
I tried to avoid the word *re-invent*.  I tried in my response to Tim, I 
don't want to give a false impression that I *(re)-invent* the web.  It 
is not I try to avoid taking the responsibility for this debate.  But I 
don't want to take the credit for something that I did not do.  Tim 
invented the web along with some other great minds.  I simply 
*re-interpret* it.
>>> - Would the effective dropping of awww:resources out of the universe  
>>> of (convenient) discourse a desirable or acceptable state of affairs?
>>>       
>>   
>> What matters is the conceptual understanding.  But the tendency of our
>> human history is simply reuse the word but readjust the understanding.
>>     
>
> Let me ask the question differently: Do you believe the ability to 
> make statements about Web pages, simply identifying the page by its 
> URI, is worthwhile?
>   
Obviously, there is all kinds of needs and everything is worthwhile.
> Your way of looking at (or redefining) the Web would lose that 
> capability.  Either the URI from which you get a 200 OK response 
> identifies an information resource, in which case we can make 
> statements about it, or it does not in which case we cannot any longer 
> make statements about the page by using the URI.  
Then, you haven't get to the essence of what I tried to say. It does not 
lose that capability. First, whatever information resource is, 200 
doesn't allow you to identify that resource unless you know it is a 
byte-copy of that resource.  If there are more than one content-types 
bound with the URI, regardless the old view of my view, you already lose 
that capability.

But saying you cannot describe it is wrong.  First, you have to define 
what a "web-page" is, but I tries to tell you it doesn't matter.  
Second, if you try to describe something about a particular 
representation *of* a URI, in human language, we just said it.  And in 
RDF, we can describe precisely with a few new terminology (URIs).  It, 
in fact, make your statement more semantically clear but less.
> We can't even say 
> what the URI identifies anymore without getting out-of-band data 
> about it, which in will not often exist.
>   
This again is wrong.  Don't you know what 
"http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes/PatHayes" denotes by reading it?  Don't 
you know what "http://www.w3.org" is about by reading it?  What do you 
mean *out-of-band* data?  Or you intend to get a *complete* knowledge of 
what a URI denotes? But isn't it a reality that we never has the 
complete knowledge about  a reality?  At a given instance, you have the 
complete knowledge about the *representation* that describes that 
reality.  If that doesn't make you understand it, you tries to find more 
about it and tries to comprehend it, right?  Do you go to a news site, 
such as http://www.cnn.com everyday? Or you go there once and save a 
copy on your disk?

>>> - In this view, do you consider it desirable for a storyteller to be
>>> able   to tell precisely 0 or 1 stories about R per media type?
>>>   
>>>       
>> I have explained my design pattern for the web in my respond to Tim's
>> argument.  If you are the resource owner, you understand your resource
>> better than anyone else, and you know who your potential clients are. 
>> Don't you think it is reasonable to make it your decision rather than mime.
>>     
>
> I think it's better to choose a decision and then all our software can 
> interoperate.
>   
Isn't the design decision is already made?  If your software can only 
deal with certain content-type, request through content-negotiation 
because all other representation is irrelevant.  I didn't and cannot 
possibly make that decision for others because I don't have the 
knowledge to know what kind of formats for a particular resource that 
its owner wants to provide.  I am pretty sure there will be human users 
- that is why I recommend people to put up an HTML page first.  I have 
followed this design pattern for myself too.  All ontologies that I now 
developed, such as http://dfdf.inesc-id.pt/ont/o3, etc., by default 
return an HTML page but not RDF.  The reason is because I want people to 
understand it.  Most people would be put off when it gets back to an RDF 
document.  But for a machine agent, whose designer knows precisely what 
its agents can handle, they obviously should know what kind of mime-type 
to request.
 
>> But I can give you a use case of people that I am working with.  We have
>> some data we would like to provide.  This is what I tell them.
>>
>> [...]
>>
>> I only recommend design pattern and tell them if they desire to get
>> their data be more broadly found and useful.  The rest is up to them, do
>> you think this make sense?
>>     
>
> As you describe it, that sounds almost fine.  But the thing your story 
> doesn't seem to clearly mention is serving something completely different, 
> like a style steet, or RDF metadata /about/ the HTML Web page (not about 
> what the HTML page is about), from the same URI.  If you are doing that 
> then I must say that is not what conneg is for, and it matters because 
> the expectations of many others will break.
>   
See above.  In human language, use prepositions such as "the HTML 
representation of resource x".  In machine, build some terminologies, 
such as "_:y abc:htmlOf x".  Then, is the meaning of _:y clear now? 
Wouldn't this, in fact, give you a more precise way to describe something?

Regards,

Xiaoshu
Received on Sunday, 13 April 2008 08:51:23 GMT

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