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Re: Request for Review of TAG AWWW 2nd LC Draft.

From: Stuart Williams <skw@hp.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 15:01:00 +0100
Message-ID: <416A921C.3000000@hp.com>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: public-webarch-comments@w3.org

Hello Pat,

In response to a comment from Patrick Stickler [1] and the ensuring 
discussion of proposals to revise the definition of Information 
Resources given in the 2nd last-call draft, the TAG reached concensus on 
a revised definition of the term Information Resource. The revised 
definition now appears in-line in section "2.2 URI/Resource 
Relationship" [2 ] rather than by forward reference to section 3.1. The 
revised definition is quoted below.

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.

Given your response below, please can you indicate whether this revised 
definition alters your "acceptance" of our previous changes as "an 
adequate response to [your] original objection." If possible we would 
appreciate an indication from you before our next telcon on 18th October.

Many thanks,

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

Stuart Williams wrote:

> At Pats request I am fowarding the content of a message I received 
> from him in response to my request that he review our 2nd LC WD.
> Best regards
> Stuart
> -- 
> ----Original Message-----
> From: Pat Hayes [mailto:phayes@ihmc.us]
> Sent: 28 September 2004 21:50
> To: Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)
> Subject: Re: Request for Review of TAG AWWW 2nd LC Draft.
> Stuart, greetings and apologies for the lateness of this reply. (I 
> could plead mitigating circumstances, but I was already late when Ivan 
> came.) I know time is tight and I have no right to hold things up any 
> longer. Although I am still not entirely happy, for W3C procedural 
> purposes you may register my acceptance of this as an adequate 
> response to my original objection. Stop reading at this point if you 
> like.
> The document is greatly improved and I can now understand it 
> coherently, and I appreciate the work that must have gone into getting 
> it into this state. However, it is still ambiguous in a few places, 
> most notably in sections 2.2 (which is blatantly circular and misuses 
> terminology in confusing ways) . In particular, the sections you cite 
> in your message seem to indicate that you intend the unqualified use 
> of the word 'resource' to be the wide sense (my 'D' in the C/D 
> contrast, i.e. anything that may be referred to), whereas the bulk of 
> the text in the document seems to imply rather clearly that you have 
> in mind the narrower C sense, in particular where the text remarks or 
> presumes without explicit comment that resources have states and can 
> be accessed by Web protocols. Section 2.2.3 seems to be a sketch/draft 
> of a way to resolve this tension quite nicely, but the idea is not 
> developed.
> The central example has been re-worded very nicely to make its meaning 
> clear (the resource is the on-line weather report) but it is still not 
> clear if the analogous alternative example, where the resource would 
> be the actual weather, would be a valid example: certainly the quote 
> from section 2.2 seems to suggest this; but much of the rest of the 
> discussion in the text seems inconsistent with it.
> The remark that this document is not intended to cover all SWeb uses 
> is very helpful, and I think was a wise insertion, and the 
> clarification of the meaning of 'representation' is good.
> Rather than produce another vast email, I have annotated the text with 
> comments drawing attention to the places where this ambiguity seems to 
> still arise, and making a few other comments, most of them 
> reiterations of points I made when commenting on the earlier draft. 
> The result is at
> http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes/2004-PatHayesComments.html
> in case it might be useful.
> Pat
> A few editorial matters you might want to check:
> In Sec 2.3 'URI' is used as a plural, elsewhere 'URIs' is used.
> Section 2.6 talks of 'some view on representations' What does this mean?
> Section 3.3.1, second paragraph seems to have some elision at the end 
> (may be only a missing period)
> Is an interaction unsafe if the agent is AT RISK of incurring an 
> obligation, or only in the case where the obligation is in fact 
> incurred? The glossary implies the latter but I think the former is 
> intended.
>> Pat,
>> The TAG has been working to address some of the concerns that you 
>> raised in
>> [1] in response to our 1st last call on the the AWWW document [2].
>> In particular, we now explicitly state that "We do not limit the 
>> scope of
>> what might be a resource", and we introduce a term for the class of
>> resources that can be interacted with via an exchange of 
>> representations -
>> "information resources". This is an attempt to resolve the 'C'/'D' sense
>> ambiguities in the use of terms that you identify.
>> A couple of extracts from the now 2nd LC draft [2] below.
>> We would appreciate your review of this draft and an indication of 
>> whether
>> you feel we have addressed the comments you made in [1].
>> Best regards
>> Stuart Williams
>> On Behalf of W3C TAG
>> -- 
>> [1]
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webarch-comments/2004JanMar/1057. 
>> html
>> [2] http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-webarch-20031209/
>> [3] http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-webarch-20040816/
>> "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. A significant class of resources,
>> information resources, are discussed in Information Resources and
>> Representations [section 3.1]."
>> and
>> "3.1. Information Resources and Representations
>> The term Information Resource refers to resources that convey 
>> information.
>> Any resource that has a representation is an information resource. A
>> representation consists logically of two parts: data (expressed in 
>> one or
>> more formats used separately or in combination) and metadata (such as 
>> the
>> Internet media type of the data)."
Received on Monday, 11 October 2004 14:01:09 UTC

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