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Re: resource and representation

From: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>
Date: Fri, 05 Jul 2002 00:27:13 -0700
Message-ID: <3D254A51.627A8257@prescod.net>
To: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@microsoft.com>, WWW TAG <www-tag@w3.org>
CC: Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>

Joshua Allen wrote:
> Maybe that is because the discussion has veered off-topic.  There is no
> question that HTTP returns a representation of a resource.  However,
> that does not mean that URIs using the http: scheme should be used for
> things other than web pages.  

There is nothing in HTTP specialized for "web pages" and many people use
it for things completely unlike Web Pages. Microsoft, in particular, is
a leader in using it for e.g. email and travel reservations.

> ... HTTP is just one protocol, with semantics
> that are useful for a finite set of circumstances.  URIs in practice
> utilize many schemes besides just http:.  Saying that all resources can
> or should be identified with http: URIs is completely insane.

It is indisputably true that all resources CAN be identified with http
URIs. After all an identifier is just a string and the protocol does not
effect the binding of identifiers to abstract objects. Whether
everything "should" be identified with http: URIs is a debate worth
having. Even without going that far we can observe that HTTP URIs have
the nice property that it is extremely easy for someone with a web
server and the appropriate domain name to scalably and globally
associate metadata in the form of representations with resources. urn:
URIs do not have that nice property and in my mind are thus strictly

Come discuss XML and REST web services at:
  Open Source Conference: July 22-26, 2002, conferences.oreillynet.com
  Extreme Markup: Aug 4-9, 2002,  www.extrememarkup.com/extreme/
Received on Friday, 5 July 2002 03:27:51 UTC

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