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Re: Resource references/httpRange-14 (was: [Minutes] 1 July TAG teleconf)

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2002 17:21:19 -0400
To: "Jonathan Borden" <jonathan@openhealth.org>
Cc: "Graham Klyne" <GK@NineByNine.org>, "Paul Grosso" <pgrosso@arbortext.com>, www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF6605554F.B7CFCF65-ON85256BEA.00756DB6@lotus.com>

I doubt I'm the first person to observe this, but I wonder whether there 
is a deeper issue lurking beneath this RDF discussion:  on the web, 
resources have first class status in the architecture, but representations 
do not.  This seems almost a self-contradiction in the web architecture. 
Web architecture strongly suggests that everything of importance should be 
a resource identified by a URI, but representations are clearly of 
importance, but are not resources and are not named with URIs.  As we've 
seen, the use of fragment identifiers to provide addressing within these 
non-resources results (not surprisingly) in fragility.  I think it's fair 
to say that some of the comments made by Jeff Mogul in his WWW 2002 paper 
are similar in spirit to the concern I raise here.

If this is indeed the underlying problem, then I wonder whether the Tag 
might not do well to first clarify the role of representations on the Web, 
and with that as a basis discuss the addressing of portions of a 
representation using fragment identifiers.  Having achieved that, one 
would expect to be able to explain the behavior of RDF in particular.   I 
should admit that I have no particularly good ideas as to what exactly the 
Tag should propose regarding representations, merely a sense that some 
clarification is in order.  (Honestly, it would make sense to me if 
representations were themselves resources, but obviously the Web does not 
work that way today, and incompatible changes would clearly be 

Also:  I will be on vacation for a couple of weeks starting Thurs.  Sorry 
to lob this into the fray and disappear, but I am unlikely to participate 
in further discussion here past tomorrow.  Hope this is of some help as a 
parting shot.

[1] http://www2002.org/CDROM/refereed/444/index.html

Noah Mendelsohn                              Voice: 1-617-693-4036
IBM Corporation                                Fax: 1-617-693-8676
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Received on Tuesday, 2 July 2002 17:35:01 UTC

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