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Re: Representation consistency and content negotiation

From: Elliotte Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 18:32:40 -0800
Message-ID: <496BFD48.6050900@metalab.unc.edu>
To: Drummond Reed <drummond.reed@cordance.net>
Cc: 'www-tag' <www-tag@w3.org>

Drummond Reed wrote:

> #1: Requestor-dependent representations. Many sites return different
> versions of a web page based on who is requesting it, such as a personalized
> homepage. How does that fit with the rule? Is the cookie used to identify
> the requestor considered implicitly part of the URI of the resource?

IMHO, that's a violation of the web architecture. The cookie is not part 
of the URI and should not be treated as such. 
http://www.example.com/joesmith and http://www.example.com/janedoe can 
be two different resources. http://www.example.com/ cannot be.


> #2: A related use case is requestor-dependent access control. For example is
> it okay for a request to the same URI to return a full web page for one
> fully-authorized requester and a redacted version to another
> less-fully-authorized requestor?

Less problematic, but still questionable, IMHO.


> #3: Content type-dependent representations. Can the view of a resource
> returned from a URI as expressed by one content-type differ from the view
> expressed by a different content-type? For example, from the URI for a
> person's web calender, could a request for text/calendar (the ical content
> type) produce one response, while a request from the same URI for
> text/free-busy (a fictional free-busy content type) produce another?

Not really. Fundamentally the same information shoudl be present in both 
representations.

Of course, all these distinctions are fuzzy. Putting a "hello John 
Smith" or "Hello Jane Doe" at the top of the page really isn't all that 
significant. However a page that shows John Doe's monthly credit card 
statement is radically different from a page that shows Jane Smith's 
statement, and those pages really need to have two different URLs. They 
are not each merely restricted views of the complete set of all credit 
card statements.

-- 
Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo@metalab.unc.edu
Refactoring HTML Just Published!
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0321503635/ref=nosim/cafeaulaitA
Received on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 02:33:15 GMT

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