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Re: old threads

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Wed, 26 May 2010 22:17:47 -0400
To: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Cc: AWWSW TF <public-awwsw@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1274926667.16079.3860.camel@dbooth-laptop>
On Wed, 2010-05-26 at 14:01 -0400, Jonathan Rees wrote:
> Since the draft gets into the old old question about what is an
> "information resource" I think it will be worthwhile to review old
> threads, to save Pat, Tim, Dan B&C, et al. the trouble of repeating
> themselves... e.g.
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2007Nov/0041.html... of
> course the discussion goes back to 2002 or beyond; found some TAG
> discussion from 2004 which I'm skimming.  Of course the RDF graph
> question was discussed in 2007, as was the class/property question.
> 
> Here's another example, from Tim,
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2004Sep/0033.html

Those threads won't help.  The problem is rooted in the inescapable fact
that there is, and will always be, ambiguity in the identity of a
resource:
http://www.ibiblio.org/hhalpin/homepage/publications/indefenseofambiguity.html 
Regardless of how precisely one might attempt to define the boundaries
of the set of "information resources", there will *always* be ambiguity
at the boundary.  This kind of ambiguity is no different from the
ambiguity that will always exist with resource identity.  At some point
one must admit that there no universally correct answer about where to
draw the line: the correct answer will depend on the *application*.  As
explained in
http://dbooth.org/2007/splitting/
this implies that there is no architectural need to define the class of
"information resources" as being disjoint with *anything*.  Hence, by
Occam's Razor, and to avoid all of this pointless debate about where the
boundary *should* be, the architecture *should* *not* define the class
of "information resources" as being disjoint with *anything*.

This does not mean that the notion of "information resource" is useless.
It plays a role in the architecture, in that "information resources" are
the things that have "representations" (in the AWWW sense).
Furthermore, knowing that a resource *is* an "information resource" may
be relevant to a particular application even though the class of
"information resource" is not disjoint with anything, as explained in
item #10 in
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-awwsw/2010May/0066.html

However, avoiding ambiguity *is* an architectural concern: a URI owner
*should* *not* use the same URI for things that consumers of that URI
are likely to wish to distinguish, as doing so leads to URI collision:
http://www.w3.org/TR/webarch/#URI-collision



-- 
David Booth, Ph.D.
Cleveland Clinic (contractor)

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of Cleveland Clinic.
Received on Thursday, 27 May 2010 02:18:15 UTC

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