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Re: ACTION-434: Some notes on organizing discussion on WebApps architecture

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2010 10:35:13 -0500
Cc: "Appelquist, Daniel, VF-Group" <Daniel.Appelquist@vodafone.com>, tag <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <C23E8C41-FCCB-4FB8-8003-BD04CFF4A435@ihmc.us>
To: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Gentlemen- 

As an interested/fascinated observer of this discussion, I would respectfully suggest that a fruitful topic to clarify might be that of 'linking' itself. What exactly does it mean to 'link" to something? Even on the hypertext Web, there seemed to be several rather different notions included in this term. In some notions it meant having some kind of access, in others only that the linker could uniquely identify the linkee.  Moreover, it was not clear exactly what was the entity one was linking *to*. (Witness the long debates about what exactly counted as the 'information resource' in the http-range-14 discussions: was it a document, an HTTP endpoint, ...?) Now we have, for example,  the growth of "linked data", and it is not clear to me whether this is the same usage, as it seems to be inherently semantic in nature. Still less is it clear whether "linking" to code is the same as to something textual or graphic in nature. 

Maybe a question that can sharpen this is this. If A links to B, what can A do by virtue of having that link available, that it could not do otherwise (or cannot do if the link is broken)? 

Anyway, just my 2c question. 

Pat Hayes


On Oct 12, 2010, at 9:26 AM, Jonathan Rees wrote:

> High-level rant, the result of my puzzling over the nature of our
> applications work. Sorry if this is low content, but I wanted to post
> it before the F2F.
> 
> One thing that makes the "web architecture" design successful is that
> it is an architecture *of* something, namely a global hypertext
> network. That characterization sets the scope nicely and sets terms
> under which it can be evaluated and judged.
> 
> I think it would help a lot if we knew, in this round of work, what
> sort of thing was supposed to have architecture. Are we talking about
> an application-enriched hypertext network? A rich client/server
> application platform?  A globally distributed computing platform? I
> don't know, but I have a feeling that if we don't set some boundary
> we'll spend a lot of time wandering around unproductively. If we're
> going to boil the ocean, I at least want to know *which* ocean.
> 
> As we look beyond "global hypertext network" it might be helpful to
> look at historical precedents of platform scope expansion. For
> example, Unix was a beautiful and successful operating system for
> PDP-11s, but suffered growing pains when it went to 32 bits. Those
> pains didn't make it any less successful in its new domain, but growth
> obliterated the original design, and the mutually incompatible
> architectures that arose to replace the old one were always
> compromised by the need to support the original.
> 
> I think the same kind of thing is happening now; the global hypertext
> network architecture is in danger of disappearing under the crush of
> applications. Choices being made now are determining the architecture
> of the new order.
> 
> The new application-enriched Web is a bunch of things, self-organizing
> without overall vision. That is probably as it should be. If we can do
> anything at all other than maybe making it a better bunch of things (a
> salutory goal but unrelated to architecture), it would be to
> articulate what kind of system we would ideally like to see and then
> identify practices that do and don't promote that kind of system. To
> state what's obvious to those on www-tag, this "kind of system" is one
> that's not only technically sound and meets current needs, but also
> promotes broader social and economic aims.
> 
> A start would be to review desirable system properties (starting from
> previous discussions, the W3C mission statement, AWWW, etc.) and
> cross-check against these notes to identify points of harmony,
> friction, or puzzlement.
> 
> Jonathan
> 
> On Fri, Jun 4, 2010 at 12:29 PM, Appelquist, Daniel, VF-Group
> <Daniel.Appelquist@vodafone.com> wrote:
>> I’ve put together some rough notes that I hope to continue to flesh out over
>> the weekend:
>> 
>> http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2010/05/web-apps-notes.html
>> 
>> Basically this is a laundry list with links to existing work from John,
>> Ashok and Noah. If there is other work we should review let me know and I
>> will add links here. I think it will be useful to go over some of the
>> existing work and then to step back and say “what are we trying to achieve”
>> here. I also think we need to look at what has happened outside of the W3C
>> community on WebApps Architecture and solicit some support from the
>> community.
>> 
>> Some of these notes are necessarily colored by the work in WebApps wg, Geo,
>> and DAP that I have been involved with.
>> 
>> Thanks,
>> Dan
> 
> 

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Received on Friday, 15 October 2010 15:35:58 GMT

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