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Re: ISSUE-81 (resource vs representation)

From: Nikunj R. Mehta <nikunj.mehta@oracle.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 12:19:08 -0700
Cc: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E6611650-2ED7-4C94-89B0-EE256AC0B5A5@oracle.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

On Sep 28, 2009, at 12:14 PM, Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Mon, 28 Sep 2009, Nikunj R. Mehta wrote:
>> Let's see how you answer this question: Where does Ian Hickson live  
>> on
>> the Web?
> I don't live on the Web. I live in California.
Good to know that. I was interested in knowing the Web site that  
served authentic information about Ian Hickson.
>> 1. http://hixie.ch/
> If you get the resource that the 'hixie.ch' server on port 80  
> returns when
> you use the method 'GET' and give it the path '/' using HTTP, you'll  
> find
> it's an HTML page I wrote.

>> 2. http://www.google.com/search?q=ian+hickson&btnI=I'm+Feeling+Lucky
> If you get the resource that the 'www.google.com' server on port 80
> returns when you use the method 'GET' and give it the path
> '/search?q=ian+hickson&btnI=I'm+Feeling+Lucky', you'll find it's an  
> page with some metadata tha redirects you to another URL, and if you
> follow the semantics of _that_ URL, you end up with yet another  
> resource,
> this time an HTML page of some kind (which resource you end up with
> depends on your Google login credentials).

As an author, I don't care, more or less, what happens inside the  
browser with either URIs. I am more concerned about what I will get  
back. This example was meant to illustrate why authors don't just  
"give enough information to obtain". They specifically say what they  
want through an identifier. In the first case, they want what they  
think is the authentic source and in the other someone's presumed  
sense of correctness.

So what if the identifier's representation changed every minute? That  
is a part of the definition of the resource identified by that URI,  
and the author ought to be careful to provide that identifier if this  
consequence was not intended. If I linked to the second link and the  
quality of information deteriorated tomorrow, my readers will be  
unhappy but that is due to my poor choice. If I wanted to always get  
authentic information about Ian Hickson, I should have linked to the  
first URI.

>>> It may be that you disagree with the meaning used for the word
>>> "identify" here as well; it's being used in the sense of "give  
>>> enough
>>> information to obtain", not the sense "provide a name for" (the  
>>> latter
>>> being the meaning often used in Semantic Web circles for the word
>>> "identify").
>> Giving enough information about something is not the same as
>> identifying. No textbook or dictionary uses the former meaning. Nor  
>> can
>> I can understand why you are creating a new abstraction for the  
>> meaning
>> of "identify" and creating yet more confusion for those of us who
>> understood what "identify" meant.
> Is there a better word than "identify"?

At this point, you've already lost me about your intention. I have  
just seen proof that you are using the term "resource" in two  
irreconcilable and, hence, confusing ways.

Received on Monday, 28 September 2009 19:21:54 UTC

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