W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > September 2009

Re: ISSUE-81 (resource vs representation)

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 10:53:21 +0200
Message-ID: <4AC07981.80105@gmx.de>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Ian Hickson wrote:
> ...
> No, the confusion is caused by trying to reference something that doesn't 
> exist. There is no such thing as what you call a "resource" -- it's an 
> abstract concept that has no correspondance to the real world. It is 
> unnecessary and makes talking about our infrastructure more complicated.
> ...

It is something abstract, but it can't be avoided when talking about the 
architecture of the web, thus having an agreed-upon name is a good thing.

>> So it appears you want to [use] "resource" exclusively with protocols 
>> that give you well-delimited bag-of-bits responses?
> As far as I'm aware, that is by and large what HTML5 does, yes. For 
> brevity, I have used the term "resource" even in cases where arbitrary 
> URLs can be used and actually applying the semantics of the URL could 
> result in a result other than obtaining an actual resource, but I don't 
> think this has led to any ambiguities in the spec's requirements.
> For example, one could have:
>    <link rel="author" href="mailto:author@example.com" title="Mail me">
> ...which the HTML5 spec says is a hyperlink, and it goes on to say that 
> the UA might provide a UI that incldes the "title of the resource (given 
> by the title attribute)", though of course in this case there's no actual 
> resource: if the user does follow that hyperlink, the navigation algorithm 
> will abort before anything to do with resources happens (namely in what is 
> currently step 7).
> Since the use of "resource" here is harmless (it causes no confusion, and 
> the requirements remain unambiguous), I haven't looked for other 
> terminology. Changing this to "representation of the resource" in this 
> case would do nothing to improve the clarity (and would be just as wrong).

Well, a link relation does not refer to a bag-of-bits, but to a resource 
(in the WEB-ARCH/URI sense). So changing the terminology where would be 
clearly incorrect.

BR, Julian

BR, Julian
Received on Monday, 28 September 2009 08:54:04 UTC

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