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Re: Is 303 really necessary?

From: David Wood <david@3roundstones.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2010 12:56:54 -0400
Cc: Ian Davis <me@iandavis.com>, public-lod@w3.org, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E9E38892-AE23-4630-B35F-31259A74BD6B@3roundstones.com>
To: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>
Hi all,

This is a horrible idea, for the following reasons (in my opinion and suitably caveated):

- Some small number of people and organizations need to provide back-links on the Web since the Web doesn't have them.  303s provide a generic mechanism for that to occur.  URL curation is a useful and proper activity on the Web, again in my opinion.

- Overloading the use of 200 (OK) for metadata creates an additional ambiguity in that the address of a resource is now conflated with the address of a resource described by metadata.

- W3C TAG findings such as http-range-14 are really very difficult to overcome socially.

- Wide-spread mishandling of HTTP content negotiation makes it difficult if not impossible to rely upon.  Until we can get browser vendors and server vendors to handle content negotiation in a reasonable way, reliance on it is not a realistic option.  That means that there needs to be an out-of-band mechanism to disambiguate physical, virtual and conceptual resources on the Web.  303s plus http-range-14 provide enough flexibility to do that; I'm not convinced that overloading 200 does.

/me ducks for the inevitable mud slinging this list has become.


On Nov 4, 2010, at 12:33, Harry Halpin wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 2:22 PM, Ian Davis <me@iandavis.com> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> The subject of this email is the title of a blog post I wrote last
>> night questioning whether we actually need to continue with the 303
>> redirect approach for Linked Data. My suggestion is that replacing it
>> with a 200 is in practice harmless and that nothing actually breaks on
>> the web. Please take a moment to read it if you are interested.
>> http://iand.posterous.com/is-303-really-necessary
> In a purely personal capacity, I like the approach of just using 200,
> i.e. with RDFa or whatever, rather than 303. If we want to
> disambiguate URIs, the IRW ontology [1] offers a nice class called
> "nonInformationResource" and "InformationResource" that one can use to
> disambiguate. See this paper [2] on "an Ontology of Resources for
> Linked Data" for a walk-through example.
> My reasoning is not architectural, but simply efficiency. It is rather
> inefficient to have a redirection in the form of a 303 if one can get
> the same info without using 303.
> Note that Microsoft's oData may one day be a serious competitor to
> Linked Data, and if you asked many programmers and open data people
> who are not already committed to RDF if they would use Atom + HTTP GET
> and no redirects over RDF/XML and a weird 303 redirect, I think the
> answer would be rather self-evident.
> [1]http://ontologydesignpatterns.org/ont/web/irw.owl
> [2]http://events.linkeddata.org/ldow2009/papers/ldow2009_paper19.pdf
>> Cheers,
>> Ian
Received on Thursday, 4 November 2010 16:57:33 UTC

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