W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > July 2003

Differing interpretations

From: Micah Dubinko <MDubinko@cardiff.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 12:16:54 -0700
Message-ID: <BD2DBD26EE0BAA48B1A425C7BE7923002D055C@csmail.cardiff.com>
To: "'Jonathan Borden'" <jonathan@openhealth.org>, WWW-Tag <www-tag@w3.org>

Jonathan Borden wrote:

"""
I am not sure it is emprically possible to decide which of the above two
types of representation are correct (i.e. I think both are correct under
specific circumstances)
"""

That hits the nail on the head.

The webarch document would be much more useful if it explained the two or so
commonly held interpretations of Web architecture rather than trying to
explain away all but one.

At the level of code, the Web just works, as always. But at the level of web
developers making decisions about how to allocate URIs and so on,
interpretations are the deciding factor.

If I write an HTTP server, and think of it as serving byte ranges of
specific files, that's OK.

If I use a URI to make assertions about a remote galaxy, that's OK too.

The webarch document needs to document these interpretations.

.micah

-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Borden [mailto:jonathan@openhealth.org]
Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2003 10:45 AM
To: WWW-Tag
Subject: [httpRange-14] levels of representation

Perhaps some of the difficulty in resolving (sic) httpRange-14 lies in what
appears to be two different meanings of 'resource representation' for
example:

1) text/html representation -isRepresentationOf-> document-X
    application/pdf representation -isRepresentationOf-> document-X
i.e. document-format -represents-> "abstract document"

vs.
2) document-X -isRepresentationOf-> weather in Oaxaca
i.e. document -> isAbout -> resource

I am not sure it is emprically possible to decide which of the above two
types of representation are correct (i.e. I think both are correct under
specific circumstances). For example, when common (i.e. non-technical)
people click on a link in a browser and see a document "about" the weather
in Oaxaca, it seems entirely consistent to say that what is seen in the web
browser is the representation and the resource is the "weather in Oaxaca".
On the other hand when network folks (i.e. technical folks) talk about how
the HTTP protocol works it is common to discuss protocols having binding
endpoints and across which messages are exchanged. In this sense the message
is the "representation" and the endpoint is the "resource".

If the WebArch document could better clarify which of the above usages of
the term "representation" is intended that might be helpful, alternatively
state that either or both are acceptable.

Jonathan
Received on Monday, 21 July 2003 15:16:56 UTC

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