Re: Strings and things

On Mon, Apr 29, 2002 at 10:31:59PM -0700, Joshua Allen wrote:
> In the sense of, "Mark Twain once said that people will be more likely
> to believe what you say if you tell them Ben Franklin said it first"?

No, in the sense of, what breaks if I identify a car with a HTTP URI?

> "The URI scheme defines the namespace of the URI, and thus may further
> restrict the syntax and semantics of identifiers using that scheme."
> The RFC goes on to clarify that the "scheme" part of the URI defines
> semantics and not protocol:

Exactly right.  One *could* define a billion URI schemes for all the
different types of things that we interact with.  I'm not arguing that
this is impossible, I'm arguing that there's no value to doing it.

We could manipulate a lightbulb with a lightbulb specific set of
semantics; turnOn, turnOff, isOnOrOff.  We could then associate those
semantics with a "lightbulb:" URI scheme.  We could do the same for
absolutely every resource.  We can keep developing more and more
specific semantics.

I suggest looking in the other direction; what if we could develop a
very generic set of semantics useful for manipulating and accessing
as many resources as possible?

So instead of turnOn, turnOff, isOnOrOff, we could generalize that.
For example, we could have semantics meaning "get state" and "set
state", and so turnOn would be set-state(on), turnOff would be
set-state(off), and isOnOrOff would be get-state().

Or just PUT (with a body representing the on state), PUT (with a body
representing the off state), and GET to inquire about the state.

This is why lightbulbs can be identified by a HTTP URI.

This is my last post on this topic.

Mark Baker, Chief Science Officer, Planetfred, Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.

Received on Tuesday, 30 April 2002 08:39:29 UTC