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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 18:48:55 -0700
Message-Id: <BB765E63-A692-4631-A34C-5537F9678F5E@gbiv.com>
Cc: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, W3C TAG <www-tag@w3.org>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
On Jul 20, 2009, at 1:27 PM, Pat Hayes wrote:
>> 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
>
> That is silly, and offensive. There is not, and never has been, an  
> English dictionary that would give the RFC 3986 meaning for   
> "resource", other than by this new use creeping into corpora such  
> as Wikipedia. (The Wikipedia article documents this history quite  
> well, in fact.)  And the issue (for me, at any rate, and I speak as  
> one of the noisy ones on this issue) has never been to impose my  
> personal ontologies on anyone, only to gain clarification of the  
> intended meanings of the words in the specs as written: which,  
> before RFC 3986, were extremely underdefined and indeed internally  
> inconsistent. Personally, I find the RFC3986 usage ludicrous,  
> pretentious and misleading, but it is the standard, so I am  
> reconciled to using it. But then when I do, I expect other uses in  
> other standards documentation to at least conform to this usage.
>
> Being told to consult a 'common dictionary' is both unhelpful and  
> extremely discourteous: it implies that I do not have an adequate  
> grasp of my native language, a language in which I have been  
> speaking, teaching and writing technical papers since you, Roy  
> Fielding, were a babe in arms. And frankly, if you think that this  
> usage of "resource" is found in a common dictionary, then you are  
> the one who needs to spend more time with English dictionaries.

Did I say "You", "Pat", or even include you in the address line?

I will point out, again, that I have twice posted the dictionary
entries and that they do encompass the meaning in 3986.  Of course
they are not the same *description* paragraph.

> I trust then that this will be removed (cited from Henrik's recent  
> email) :
>
> ---------
> p1-messaging, C. Terminology
>
>        resource
>
>                A network data object or service that can be identified
>                by a URI, as defined in Section 2.1. Resources may be
>                available in multiple representations (e.g. multiple
>                languages, data formats, size, and resolutions) or vary
>                in other ways.
>
> Note: "resource" in 2.1 above refers to the more general RFC3986
> meaning, in the rest of the HTTP documents it generally refers to the
> HTTP definition of resource.
> ----------

Yes, that is one of the many things already slated for removal,
along with finding and eliminating the cases where many different
authors used slightly varying terms to describe the stuff behind
the HTTP interface that they had no business describing in the
first place.

....Roy
Received on Tuesday, 21 July 2009 01:49:19 GMT

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