Re: Proposed TAG issue on the boundaries of the Web

Tim Bray writes:

>> Discussion here has swirled around under a 
>> variety of subject lines but centering on 
>> the vexed question of what is part of the Web 
>> (& hence its architecture) and what isn't. 
>> For my sins I have been given an action item 
>> to try to tease out a reasonably crisply 
>> stated issue here for adoption into the TAG 
>> issues list.

For me, TimBL's principle of universality is very important.  TimBL writes 

"By Universal I mean that the web is declared to be able to contain in 
principle every bit of information accessible by networks. It was designed 
to be able to include existing information systems such as FTP, and to be 
able simply in the future to be extendable to include any new information 
This means that no information which has any significance and persistence 
should be made available in a way that one cannot refer to it with a URI."

That goes a long way to defining the web for me.   I see such universality 
as potentially in conflict with efforts to define the web either by 
enumeration of technologies, or in other ways that might limit either the 
resources to which we might refer, or the technologies used for access. 

Of course, the TAG need not agree with (my reading of) TimBL on this, and 
I do not suggest we start a debate right now:  I do suggest that you 
formulate the TAG's issue in a manner that allows for full consideration 
of universality as a (potentially) fundamental principle.  I've been a 
little disappointed that it hasn't been raised more often in the recent 
thread of discussion.  Thank you!


Noah Mendelsohn                              Voice: 1-617-693-4036
IBM Corporation                                Fax: 1-617-693-8676
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

Received on Tuesday, 9 April 2002 15:55:59 UTC