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Re: New Draft of TAG Finding "The Self-Describing Web"

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 16:50:02 -0600
Message-ID: <47BB5D1A.2060304@w3.org>
To: noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com
Cc: www-tag@w3.org

noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com wrote:
> [1] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/selfDescribingDocuments
> [2] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/selfDescribingDocuments-2008-02-08.html

I printed it and read it on a recent plane trip. I made marks
all over it but most of them are editorial; I think
it's good stuff and we should finish it and publish it.

I made check-plus notes next to these bits:

"... when such self-describing resources are linked together, the Web as 
a whole can support reliable, ad hoc discovery of information."

"... In other words, it should be possible to discover from each Web 
representation the conventions used to encode it, and particularly in 
cases where those conventions are not widely deployed, to find within 
the representations links to specifications, ontologies and/or programs 
necessary for interpreting the representation. "

I don't think the 1st boxed item works all that well as written:

"Good Practice: Web resource representations SHOULD be self-describing."

That doesn't stand well on its own. I was prepared to be a bit
generous and let "self-describing" stand for the several paragraphs
around it, but then I got to the 2nd GPN:

"Good Practice: Use the HTTP protocol to deploy self-describing resources."

If that's not redundant w.r.t. the 1st GPN, I don't know how
to understand the 1st GPN.

Please cite issue 51 from "Similarly, the need may arise to use new 
values for individual fields such as rel attributes on HTML link elements."

The comma in the 1st sentence distracted me; I'm pretty sure it
should be deleted:

"The Web is designed to support flexible exploration of information, by 
human users and by automated agents."

I suggest writing "that's" out as "that is"; the contraction seems
out of place given the overall style of the document.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Tuesday, 19 February 2008 22:50:08 UTC

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