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Re: Generic processing of Fragment IDs in RFC 3023bis

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 08:54:54 -0400
Message-ID: <AANLkTiku10p_Wc22iH1pPbjY0-io+Odtu3mOpMXJ1Tn_@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>
Cc: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>, www-tag@w3.org
On Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 5:52 PM, Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com> wrote:
> On Oct 5, 2010, at 12:53 PM, Noah Mendelsohn wrote:
>
>> Roy Fielding writes:
> ... each of
> the sets of meaning above are, in fact, valuable world views that
> are used by different processors at different times for different
> purposes.  ...
> Is that enough?
>
> ....Roy

Well, if *I* am going to understand what you're saying, I don't think
it's enough. If I work hard I think I can sort of understand what you
mean by "identification", "meaning", and "resource" even though you
use these words very differently from how I do... we could dive into
terminology, but rather than dwell on that let's look at a concrete
example.

Suppose we have an application that can display XML elements, or do
some other processing on them. It is given a URI (or more precisely an
absolute URI reference with a fragment id). It has a choice of either
of two APIs or libraries to use to determine an element designated or
"identified" by the URI. Library 1 selects elements according to XML
generic fragid processing, while library 2 is an RDF processor that is
capable of inferring, based on available axioms, that the URI
"identifies" an XML element and, in fact, some particular element
whose properties (its attributes and so on) are known.

Depending on which URI-derefencing library the application chooses to
use, the application will get either of two different elements for the
same URI - even if none of the information involved in the
determinations is stale.

Without considering the question of which library the application
"should" use, it appears that you are saying three things: first, that
this is a perfectly natural state of affairs, so it has to be accepted
because it's the way the world works; second, that the cat is out of
the bag and we couldn't change things even if we wanted to; and third,
that the practice of having multiple interpretations is valuable and
we shouldn't change it even if we could.

Many people would consider coherent reference across protocols or
interpretation contexts a meaningless and misguided goal, while others
consider it the heart of web architecture. I note that in 2004-05 you
endorsed both the web architecture recommendation and the httpRange-14
resolution, and both of these say (in my reading of them at least)
that coherent reference across contexts is something to strive for.
This is the principle without which we wouldn't be having this
discussion (in fact the discussion is much more about the principle
than about the particular case). Have you changed your mind?

Best
Jonathan
Received on Wednesday, 6 October 2010 12:55:23 GMT

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