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Re: Proposed IETF/W3C task force: "Resource meaning" Review of new HTTPbis text for 303 See Other

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 11:21:58 -0700
Message-Id: <6CC4D003-86C2-489D-ABA3-968E233047FA@gbiv.com>
Cc: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, W3C TAG <www-tag@w3.org>
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
On Jul 19, 2009, at 7:28 AM, Larry Masinter wrote:

> I'd like to ask that we start a separate task force and
> mailing list on the topic of resolving any remaining issues
> around the use of the word "resource" and the semantics
> associated with it, with the task force chartered to come up with
> satisfactory wording to propose as amendments, errata,
> or updates to relevant documents. The initial
> documents to be considered are:
> (a) the URI specification RFC 3986
> (b) the HTTP specification being developed in HTTPbis
>  and (1) its definitions of "resource"
>      (2) its definition of HTTP URI scheme
> (c) the W3C TAG document AWWW
> (d) the W3C TAG httpRange-14 finding
> (e) the W3C RDF recommendation
> Other documents and uses of the word "resource" may
> be added to the scope once the task force has agreement
> on this issues.

For the record, I do not believe there is anything wrong with the way
resource is defined in RFC 3986.  I have no interest in discussing
it further because all of these arguments have already been covered
three times over.

The fact that some people insist that their personal/professional
ontology doesn't have room for any of the other definitions found
in a common dictionary is not, in my opinion, a protocol issue.
The term is defined in one place (3986) for the sake of documentation
and consistency, not for the sake of perfection in the minds of
every observer.  As far as the protocols are concerned, the fact
that it is a defined term is all that matters: it's definition
does not matter outside the philosophical realm.

We already spent six years of 2396 and 3986 development talking about
these issues.  HTTP (2616bis) is currently under revision and the plan
is to make it entirely consistent with 3986 (mostly by removing any
and all overlapping prose).  Change-requests to that text are welcome
on the httpbis lists/trac.  In particular, b1 and b2 on the list above
are currently waiting on me to get my act together, so expect them
both to be radically changed in httpbis over the next two weeks so
that they just point to 3986.

I cannot imagine revising 3986 (STD 66) again, at least not in our
lifetimes.  If you want to establish an official bike-shed painting
committee for the purpose of discussing what resource means, then
I suggest it should be done entirely within W3C, fed to the TAG for
review, and then (if any changes are warranted) an official errata
request be placed with the IETF.

Received on Monday, 20 July 2009 18:22:17 UTC

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