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Re: "information resource"

From: Stuart Williams <skw@hp.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 14:42:33 +0100
Message-ID: <416A8DC9.2020308@hp.com>
To: Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com, "public- webarch-comments"@w3.org

Patrick,

Further to our recent exchanges and my earlier proposal to replace the 
term "Information Resource" with the term "Web Resource", at our F2F tin 
Basel this week, the TAG spend a considerable time discussion the 
definition of "Information Resources". We developed new definitional 
text which the TAG reached concensus on. This text now appears at the 
beginning of Section 2.2 [1] and is quoted below.

<quote>
2.2. URI/Resource Relationships

By design a URI identifies one resource. We do not limit the scope of 
what might be a resource. The term "resource" is used in a general sense 
for whatever might be identified by a URI. It is conventional on the 
hypertext web to describe web pages, images, product catalogs, etc. as 
“resources”. The distinguishing characteristic of these resources is 
that all of their essential characteristics can be conveyed in a 
message. We identify this set as “information resources”.

This document is an example of an information resource. It consists of 
words and punctuation symbols and graphics and other artifacts that can 
be encoded, with varying degrees of fidelity, into a sequence of bits. 
There is nothing about the essential information content of this 
document that cannot in principle be transfered in a representation.

However, our use of the term resource is intentionally more broad. Other 
things, such as cars and dogs (and, if you’ve printed this document on 
physical sheets of paper, the artifact that you are holding in your 
hand), are resources too. They are not information resources, however, 
because their essence is not information. Although it is possible to 
describe a great many things about a car or a dog in a sequence of bits, 
the sum of those things will invariably be an approximation of the 
essential character of the resource.

We define the term “information resource” because we observe that it is 
useful in discussions of web technology and may be useful in 
constructing specifications for facilities built for use on the web.
</quote>

This text moves the definition of "Information Resource" in-line at the 
beginning of section 2.2 rather than by forward reference to the former 
section 3.1.

Please can you let us know if we have addressed your comment to your 
satisfaction (if possible before our next telcon which will be 18th 
October).

Many thanks,

Stuart Williams
On behalf of W3C TAG
-- 
[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/webarch/#id-resources

Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com wrote:

>Thanks Stuart. I find the proposed changes acceptable.
>
>Cheers,
>
>Patrick
>
>
>  
>
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: ext Stuart Williams [mailto:skw@hp.com]
>>Sent: 20 September, 2004 15:52
>>To: public-webarch-comments@w3.org
>>Cc: Roy T. Fielding; Stickler Patrick (Nokia-TP-MSW/Tampere); Tim
>>Berners-Lee
>>Subject: Re: "information resource"
>>
>>
>>I'd like make the following proposal which I hope will 
>>address Patrick's 
>>comment [1] and be acceptable to other parties with an interest in 
>>Patrick's comment.
>>
>>1) Replace all occurences of the noun phrase "information 
>>resource" with 
>>the noun phrase "web resource".
>>
>>2) Replace the defining sentence for the noun phrase "information 
>>resource" (section 3.1 1st para, 1st sentence) :
>>
>>  "The term Information Resource refers to resources that convey 
>>information. Any resource that has a representation is an information 
>>resource."
>>
>>with
>>
>>  "The term Web Resource is applicable to resources for which web 
>>acesssible representations are available and/or which may be 
>>interacted 
>>with through an exchange of representations."
>>
>>3) [Optional]  Consider adding a nearby sentence: "Colloquially, Web 
>>Resources are said to be "on-the-web"."
>>
>>Best regards
>>
>>Stuart Williams
>>--
>>[1]  
>>http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webarch-comments/20
>>04JulSep/0047.html
>>
>>Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>>
>>    
>>
>>>I agree with the core of Patrick's argument, excerpted below, with
>>>the minor exception that some web resources are representation sinks
>>>that have no difficulty processing information that is sent to them,
>>>even though they don't have representations of their own.  Those are
>>>significant to the web machinery, but don't participate in the
>>>information retrieval (hypertext) Web.
>>>
>>>Maybe we need to distinguish resources from web resources and from
>>>hypertext resources?  Or maybe the architecture just 
>>>      
>>>
>>doesn't care, and
>>    
>>
>>>we can go back to describing how it works instead of how it might
>>>be modeled in an abstract but artificial way.
>>>
>>>....Roy
>>>
>>>On Sep 9, 2004, at 2:00 AM, <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>      
>>>
>>>>But the resolution of that confusion need not posit any claims or
>>>>constraints about the inherent nature of the resource itself, only
>>>>about the accessibility of representations of that resource.
>>>>
>>>>I.e.
>>>>
>>>>-- 
>>>>
>>>>"resource"         Anything that can be referred to, 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>named, described,
>>    
>>
>>>>                   talked about, etc.
>>>>
>>>>"web resource"     A resource which has web accessible 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>representations
>>    
>>
>>>>                   (i.e. is significant to the web machinery).
>>>>                   "web resource" is a subclass of "resource".
>>>>
>>>>"representation"   An octet stream (entity) returned by a 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>server which
>>    
>>
>>>>                   reflects the state of a resource. A 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>representation is
>>    
>>
>>>>                   also a resource, which can be denoted 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>by a distinct
>>    
>>
>>>>                   URI. A representation of a 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>representation (resource)
>>    
>>
>>>>                   corresponds to a bit-equal copy of itself.
>>>>                   "representation" is a subclass of "web 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>resource".
>>    
>>
>>>>-- 
>>>>
>>>>IMO, the above three definitions should be sufficient to 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>clarify the
>>    
>>
>>>>confusion between what a resource is and what resources 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>are relevant to
>>    
>>
>>>>the web and why,  and how representations (the "atomic" 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>resources of
>>    
>>
>>>>the web) relate to the broader set of web resources -- 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>many of which
>>    
>>
>>>>correspond to abstract "bodies of information" such as web pages.
>>>>
>>>>Nowhere above is it necessary to say anything about the 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>inherent nature
>>    
>>
>>>>of resources or of web resources, or to posit any kind of class of
>>>>"information resources" in order to describe the behavior and 
>>>>architecture
>>>>of web servers and clients (aside from the atomic, binary nature of
>>>>representations).
>>>>        
>>>>
>>>On Sep 9, 2004, at 3:51 AM, <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>      
>>>
>>>>My explicit proposal would be to replace the words "information 
>>>>resource"
>>>>with either "web resource" or "web accessible resource" which IMO
>>>>would coincide more precisely with the actual definition and not
>>>>potentially imply any position relating to httpRange-14.
>>>>
>>>>        
>>>>
>>>...
>>>
>>>      
>>>
>>>>Anything can be a resource. I am opposed to any constraints by
>>>>the web architecture on the nature of resources denoted by URIs and
>>>>for which representations are made web accessible.
>>>>
>>>>My view, in a nutshell:
>>>>
>>>>Anything can be a resource.
>>>>Any resource can be denoted by a URI.
>>>>Any resource can have web accessible representations.
>>>>A web resource is a resource with web accessible representations.
>>>>A representation is a resource.
>>>>A representation can be denoted by a distinct URI.
>>>>A representation is the atomic primitive of the web.
>>>>A representation corresponds to a binary data stream.
>>>>The representation of a representation is a bit-equal copy 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>of itself.
>>    
>>
>>>>The web architecture faciliates interaction with 
>>>>        
>>>>
>>representations of 
>>    
>>
>>>>resources.
>>>>The semantic web architecture facilitates interaction with 
>>>>descriptions of resources.
>>>>The intersection of the web and semantic web architectures are a 
>>>>shared set of URIs.
>>>>
>>>>Patrick
>>>>        
>>>>
>>>
>>>      
>>>
>>    
>>
>
>  
>
Received on Monday, 11 October 2004 13:42:37 UTC

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