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Re: resources and URIs

From: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 16:53:02 -0400
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <87vftm9xw1.fsf@nwalsh.com>

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/ Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org> was heard to say:
|> representation of = something which portrays a resource; most often
|> in the arch doc a bag of bits with a MIME type and other metadata,
|
| That is: an expression in some identified language, a message with
| meaning.  Bits + MIME Type == bits (raw information) + language
| identifier (indicating, by reference, the syntax and semantics of the
| language).  Sounds good.   In practice there's a kind of language
| layering and combining going on, with markup languages and header
| fields, but that can probably be ignored at this distance.
|
| But the important question is this: what is this "portrays"
| relationship between the resource and the representation.   So far
| people have suggested that the respresentation:
|
|   1.  entirely communicates all that is knowable about the resource
|       (easy for OOP systems; I think this is REST's answer)

I don't think this can really be the answer. Even absent any sort of SW,
it's possible to utilize information that's external to the resource.
Google's pagerank for example.

|   2.  communicates enough information about the resource to uniquely
|       identify it in the universe, and also tell you some useful stuff
|       about it

I don't think representations are required to provide any information
about unique identification. That's what the URI is for.

|   3.  conveys "a lot" about the resource, most of the stuff a typical
|       user would want to know
|       (probably the typical web answer)   
|
|   4.  conveys some information probably related to the resource
|       (the usual RDF answer)

I'm not sure I see a meaningful distinction between 3 and 4.

|   5.  there is no relationship in general....  :-)

I'm tempted to suggest that that is obviously true, but I think that'd
be unwise. At any event, I'm not willing to exclude this answer today.

| This is where the challenge is.

One of them, anyway :-)

                                        Be seeing you,
                                          norm

- -- 
Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM    | On the other hand, you have different fingers.
XML Standards Architect |
Web Tech. and Standards |
Sun Microsystems, Inc.  | 
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Received on Monday, 28 July 2003 16:53:58 UTC

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