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Re: Is 303 really necessary?

From: Ian Davis <me@iandavis.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2010 17:14:15 +0000
Message-ID: <AANLkTimeVPPMFhws74fqVgAgG-mF7OYy19FyCj-XJcgS@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Wood <david@3roundstones.com>
Cc: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>, public-lod@w3.org, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Hi Dave,

On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 4:56 PM, David Wood <david@3roundstones.com> wrote:
> 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.

The relationship between 303 redirection and backlinks isn't clear to
me. Can you expand?

> - 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.

My post addresses that case. I don't encourage people to use the same
URI for both the metadata and the thing but to link them using a new
predicate ex:isDescribedBy. I also say that you should believe the
data. If the data says the thing you dereferenced is a document then
that's what you should assume it is. If it says it's a toucan then
that's what it is.

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

Maybe so, but I don't think that should stop 5 years of deployment
experience from informing a change of practice. This isn't really
relevant to my main question though: what breaks on the web.

> - 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.

My proposal isn't dependent on conneg. You can use it with the same
caveats as anywhere else. But the simple case is just to serve up some
RDF at the URI being dereferenced. BTW, conneg is very widely deployed
in the Linked Data web and doesn't seem to have been a problem.

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

We can improve the quality of discussion on this list.

> Regards,
> Dave

Received on Thursday, 4 November 2010 17:14:48 UTC

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