Re: usage of 'resource' vs 'representation' in HTML 5, CSS, HTML 4, SVG, ...

On Wed, 9 Dec 2009, Dan Connolly wrote:
> I find that usage of "identify" very unappealing. I think normal usage 
> of "identify" is unambiguous. If I say "In this game, teams are 
> identified by color" and then told you that blue identifies team X and a 
> different team Y, you'd consider that nonsense.

Yet that's exactly what happens. You play a game of Carcassone with me and 
Dom, and Green represents me. Yet if one hour later you play the game 
again but with Mike and Doug, suddenly Green might represent Mike instead. 
The colour here is an identifier, but what it identifies changes 
discretely over time. The color is a URL. The player is a resource. In the 
rules it refers to "the green player", just like we refer to "the page", without meaning a particular bag of bits. Yet 
when you are playing the game, if you say "the green player" you mean the 
actual person, just like we refer to "the page" as 
meaning the exact bag of bits. The two usages are trivially 
distinguishable by context.

Just like a variable whose value is an object is used simultaneously to 
refer to whatever object it points to, which can change over time, and the 
actual object that it points to at a particular moment in time.

I don't think I've ever come across anyone trying to try to distinguish 
these two concepts before reading the HTTP/URI specs, and I don't think 
I've come across anyone trying to distinguish them since outside of people 
involved in the development of those specs or people close to them.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

Received on Thursday, 10 December 2009 10:20:57 UTC