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Re: "important" resources

From: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 13:22:55 -0700
Message-ID: <3D37239F.123B17D@prescod.net>
To: David Orchard <dorchard@bea.com>, www-ws-arch@w3.org

David Orchard wrote:
> 
> I tend to define as "important" any resource that one would want to GET a
> representation from.  

According to your definition, "mailto:" and form POST resources are not
important. This resource does not return anything particularly
interesting from GET:

http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search

Yet it is important enough to need a URI.

Let me offer an alternate definition of "important". An important
resource is any resource that we will either need to make protocol
statements about (SOAP messages, GET/PUT/POST/DELETE) or semantic
statements about (RDF).

>...
> In many cases, like conversational interactions, one wants a priori
> knowledge and there's no requirement for safe retrievals.

The more a standard depends upon a priori knowledge the less useful it
is as a standard. I see nothing in a "conversational interaction" that
should require a priori knowledge. In fact, I thought the point of web
services was to move conversational interactions from the domain of
one-to-one negotiation into the domain of open, public, global
standards.

>...
> Application/Platform specific resources (like instances of ejb/.Net
> components in stateful conversations or an MQSeries transaction) sometimes
> aren't the best things to identify only with URIs.  It's not that they're
> not important, it's just that GET isn't an appropriate interaction so a URI
> isn't needed.  

I have never encountered a resource such that GET is not a useful
interaction. A queue can return: "yes I'm still working and there are 20
messages in me." An SMTP mailbox could return: "I'm trying to send that
message you asked me about." Stateful components can return their state
to allow third parties to get up to speed on the conversation. Under
what circumstance would it be in the systems' best interest for a
component to be mute about its state or status?

> ... I am very sensitive to Roy's points about problems of overuse
> of gateways for mapping between URIs and underlying infrastructure.

Could you please give a reference for this? I did not know that Roy felt
that there was a problem with overuse of gateways.

-- 
Come discuss XML and REST web services at:
  Open Source Conference: July 22-26, 2002, conferences.oreillynet.com
  Extreme Markup: Aug 4-9, 2002,  www.extrememarkup.com/extreme/
Received on Thursday, 18 July 2002 16:23:50 GMT

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