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Re: FYI -- draft ietf uri doc

From: Leslie Daigle <leslie@thinkingcat.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2000 14:41:11 -0400
Message-ID: <39B3ECC7.2925C0CD@thinkingcat.com>
To: "Paskin, Norman (DOI-ELS)" <n.paskin@doi.org>
CC: uri@w3.org


I understand where you're coming from, but I don't believe this is
the right document in which to attempt to solve it.  From the standpoint 
of URIs, resources truly can be anything "with identity" -- and
what that means will vary depending on whether you're building an
electronic information interchange or an IP telephony system
(is the thing at the end of this telephone number URL connected to a 
human?  or might it be fax, voicemail...).  URIs are used in
many different information contexts, and I truly doubt there is 
a single, practically applicable, definition of "resource" that
would work for all of them.

That being said, I agree that to build useful tools, one does have to 
nail down criteria, assumptions, or at least expectations about the 
"resources" that will be handled.   But that means defining the
context first (e.g., e-commerce of digital intellectual property
elements) and then asserting what the additional stipulations for
validity within that context are.

As to saying what something is -- there's the RDF work, and there's
also the on-going RESCAP (resource capability) working group within
the IETF, which originally was intended to be a service for determining
capabilities of things like mailboxes (e.g., will this mailbox 
accept Word attachments), but latterly the thinking has been
to see it as a candidate for querying more general capabilities
of specific resources.  I'm not really convinced it's the answer
to your question, but I mention it because it's there...


"Paskin, Norman (DOI-ELS)" wrote:
> RFC 2396 says: "A resource can be anything that has identity". Gee thats
> helpful in designing tools!  :-).
> I think my point still stands:
> "the answer to the question "what is a resource".  As the W3C RDF activity
> has found (in my opinion), it is no longer sufficient to gloss over this by
> saying "whatever you want".  It may indeed be necessary to allow it to be
> "whatever you want" but there must be  some constraints if we are to build
> useful tools to deal with resources: "whatever you want, but you say what it
> is as follows....so that we can design tools which will do the
> following...."
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Roy T. Fielding [mailto:fielding@kiwi.ICS.UCI.EDU]
> Sent: 04 September 2000 10:03
> To: Paskin, Norman (DOI-ELS)
> Cc: uri@w3.org
> Subject: Re: FYI -- draft ietf uri doc
> >1.  I note that this is indeed an attempt to say what the current IETF
> >picture is.  As such, it clearly lacks a key component: the answer to the
> >question "what is a resource".  As the W3C RDF activity has found (in my
> Resource is defined in RFC 2396.
> ....Roy


"Reality with a delicate splash of the imaginary... 
    ... or was that the other way around?"
   -- ThinkingCat

Leslie Daigle
Received on Monday, 4 September 2000 14:48:25 UTC

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