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Re: AWWW second edition, maybe -- terminology

From: Henry S. Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2013 17:20:42 +0100
To: Nick Gall <nick.gall@gmail.com>
Cc: www-tag <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <f5bvc5popt1.fsf@calexico.inf.ed.ac.uk>
Nick Gall writes:

> On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM, Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org> wrote:
>> On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 7:48 AM, Henry S. Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>> > Does this look like the kind of direction we'd like to move in?
>>
>> Not IMO. I don't think any description of Web architecture is complete
>> without acknowledging the distinction between the data and its source.
>> AFAICT, the only way to do that is with a word that's synonymous with
>> "resource".
>
> Allow me to second Mark's excellent point that replacing "resource" with
> "information and services" is a non-starter on the information side, and so
> will devolve into the use of a single word roughly synonymous with
> "resource". Allow me to also warn you that if that word ends up being
> "service", the TAG will be creating a tsunami of confusion. Why? Because
> much of the world was taught over the past few years to fundamentally
> distinguish a Resource-Oriented Architecture (REST) and Service-Oriented
> Architecture (WS-*). [1] [2]
>
> If the TAG ends up saying that URLs refer to services, or god forbid,
> service endpoints, we really will have entered a world of humpty-dumpty
> semantics.

Happy to use another word, but not to avoid the difference I think we
shouldn't ignore: the use of URIs to get information (GET), and the
use of URIs to perform actions (POST).  The fact that AWWW barely
mentioned the latter, and the introductory discussion in HTTPbis still
doesn't, is no excuse for ignoring the fact that the day is long past
where the Web was mostly about seeking and providing information:
today it's at least as much about _doing_ things: buying things,
joining groups, sending emails.  The URIs we use to do such things
deserve to be taken seriously: suggesting that they "identify
resources" in the same way that e.g. the URI of my home page
"identifies a resource" just underscores the vacuity of the word
'resource'.

ht
-- 
       Henry S. Thompson, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
      10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
                Fax: (44) 131 650-4587, e-mail: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk
                       URL: http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/
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Received on Friday, 7 June 2013 16:21:06 UTC

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