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

Re: resources and URIs

From: pat hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 01:22:03 -0500
Message-Id: <p06001a15bb428427afc9@[]>
To: Walden Mathews <waldenm@optonline.net>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org

>  > OK, then in the sense I was understanding the word "on" here, its the
>>  *representation* which is on the network, not the thing it is a
>>  picture of.  But I realize now that others are using 'on the Web' to
>>  mean what I would phrase as 'referred to somewhere on the Web'. The
>>  problem for me that is not that this is meaningless, exactly, but
>>  that it is useless. Being 'on the Web' in this sense isn't
>>  well-defined, cannot be checked for accuracy, provides no
>>  architectural or semantic content.  So OK, I don't give a damn
>>  whether something is or is not 'on' the Web in this sense, and I see
>>  no reason why I or anyone else should give a damn what the TAG group
>>  thinks about it either, as it makes no difference to anything.
>Pat, above you seem to use 'network' and 'Web' interchangeably;
>is that intentional?

I was being somewhat careless about the distinction, I confess. I 
assumed we we talking about the Web which is a kind of network.

>If you told me there was a random bag of representations available
>on the Web, I would't give a damn.

Wouldnt that depend on what they were about? This isn't a bad 
description of quite a few blogger pages, for example.

>But if you told me there would
>be a set of representations over time which express the state of something
>of interest, then I would.  How is the architecture supposed to indicate
>that certain groups of representations (maybe over time) "hang" together
>meaningfully?  Or is that not the job of architecture?

Good question. I guess it depends on what counts as hanging together 
meaningfully.  I would say that this sounds more like a semantic 
condition than an architectural one, though to do it full justice 
would probably need both.  One way to say it might be that there is 
something which endures and which the representations accessed at a 
time are in some sense 'about' or 'of' the state of thing at that 
time, ie there is an implicit 'now' in the semantics of the 
representation that is tied to the architecturally-defined notion of 
the time of the transaction which produced the representation. Im 
thinking here of something like a webcam (Roy Fielding's example) 
which when pinged emits a picture out of window, it being the view 
'then' of the 'same' scene, or the current weather in some place 
illustrated by a recent radar image.  Cases like this also fit the 
current 'single denoted resource' account very well, but I think its 
simplicity fails to do them justice, in fact.

But consider another case of an exotic art site which when pinged 
chooses a random picture from some large set of sources and sends it 
back. No coherence or rationality at all: that might be the artist's 
point. But *architecturally* these seem the same to me: when pinged, 
they deliver a picture. The 'state coherence' is a semantic notion, 
even though it refers to an architecturally described time parameter.

Does this make sense, BTW? Im a lot less sure of myself when trying 
to be constructive than when emitting criticism.

Pat Hayes
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Received on Tuesday, 22 July 2003 02:22:06 UTC

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