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RE: What is at the end of the namespace?

From: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 16:30:42 +0200
Message-ID: <2BF0AD29BC31FE46B78877321144043114C0AD@trebe003.NOE.Nokia.com>
To: danbri@w3.org
Cc: fielding@eBuilt.com, a.powell@ukoln.ac.uk, www-talk@w3.org, uri@w3.org

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ext Dan Brickley [mailto:danbri@w3.org]
> Sent: 16 November, 2001 16:14
> To: Stickler Patrick (NRC/Tampere)
> Cc: fielding@eBuilt.com; a.powell@ukoln.ac.uk; www-talk@w3.org;
> uri@w3.org
> Subject: RE: What is at the end of the namespace?
> On Fri, 16 Nov 2001 Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com wrote:
> >
> > > The HTTP
> > > specification
> > > can only talk about those aspects of the protocol that 
> are relevant to
> > > HTTP.
> >
> > You've just summed up, IMO, the whole issue in a nutshell. The
> > HTTP URI is relevant only to the semantics of the HTTP protocol.
> > And the HTTP protocol is for *access* of concrete web resources.
> > Thus HTTP URIs are only intended to be meaningful to processes
> > based on the HTTP protocol, which expect to *return* something.
> > Therefore HTTP URIs are not intended to denote abstract concepts.
> SOAP Web Service endpoints can be named with http:* URIs, and 
> communicated
> with via XML representations shipped over HTTP. But you can't 
> download the
> service itself; that wouldn't make sense. 

I would argue that the HTTP URI in that case does not denote the
service, but a description of the service, if dereferencing
the URI provides the SOAP instance.

Of course, there's a gray zone there. Does a CGI HTTP URI denote
the service provided by the CGI application or the application
itself, or just one access portal to that application (or service).
Still, its a web-resource, and so it is reasonable to denote it
with an HTTP URI. 

> When you think of 
> HTTP as a way
> of talking to some (possibly authoritative) service about URI-named
> resources, this whole URI thing makes a bit more sense. If 
> you think of it
> as a glorified form of file-sharing (like NFS, Samba etc) URIs for
> abstractions seem odd.

Exactly. HTTP URIs for abstractions seem odd. HTTP defines, like
you say, a global filesystem of sorts. HTTP URIs denote real
and accessible resources stored in that global filesystem.

To use an HTTP URI to denote an abstract concept, such as 
"LOVE" or an ontological term, or a non-web resource such
such as "The city of Paris" is quite odd. I fully agree.

Received on Friday, 16 November 2001 09:31:48 UTC

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