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Re: New TAG issue: genericResources-53

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2006 15:57:20 -0400
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF275F6AAD.70BF5FE6-ON85257180.006D6EC2-85257180.006DCA0A@lotus.com>
(I'm leaving the tag-announce list off the distribution for this 

Pat Hayes writes:

> Can you tell us, or point us to where it is told, what a 
> 'conceptual resource' is? The phrase does not seem to occur 
> anywhere else in the TAG issues list, and I have not seen it before. 

The new TAG issue entry [1] has a link to some of Tim's earlier writings 
on Generic Resources [2].  There Tim writes:

"A URI represents a resource

A "resource" is a conceptual entity (a little like a Platonic ideal). When 
represented electronically, a resource may be of the kind which 
corresponds to only one posisble bit stream representation. An example is 
the text version of an Internet RFC. That never changes. It will always ha 
the same checksum.

On the other hand, a resource may be generic in that as a concept it is 
well specified but not so specifically specified that it can only be 
represented by a single bit stream. In this case, other URIs may exist 
which identify a resource more specifically. These other URIs identify 
resources too, and there is a relationship of genericity between the 
generic and the relatively specific resource.

As an example, successively specific resources might be

   1. The Bible
   2. The Bible, King James Version
   3. The Bible, KJV, in English
   4. A particular ASCII rendering of the KJV Bible in English

Each resource may have a URI. The authority which allocates the URI is the 
authority which determines wo what it refers: Therefore, that authority 
determines to what extent that resource is generic or specific.

This model is more of an observation of a requirement than an 
implementation decision. Multilevel gnericity clarly exists in all our 
current life with books and electronic documents. Adoption of this model 
simply follows from the rule that Web design should not arbitrarily seek 
to constrain life in general for its own purposes."

This quote from Tim doesn't use term "conceptual resource", but it does 
mention "conceptual entities" in a sense that I find at least informally 
suggestive of what we're trying to put on the table for discussion. 


[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/issues.html#genericResources-53
[2] http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Generic

Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Received on Thursday, 1 June 2006 19:57:45 UTC

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