Approved TAG finding: On Linking Alternative Formats


The W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG) has approved yesterday the finding
On Linking Alternative Formats To Enable Discovery And Publishing:


  Content creators wishing to publish multiple versions of a given resource
  on the Web face a number of questions with respect to how such URIs are
  created, published and discovered. Questions include:

    * Given a resource that can be delivered in
      a multiplicity of representations, how should one publish the relevant
      URIs to enable automatic discovery of these representations
      (AKA specific resources)?
    * How does one ensure that the alternative relationship amongst these
      various representations is available in a machine readable form, and
      consequently discoverable?
    * Here, multiple representations might include:
      - Representations appropriate for different delivery contexts
      - Alternative formats of the resource distinguished by Content-type
      - Different versions of the resource e.g., either by language or date
      - Representations in different languages

  This document explores the issues that arise in this context, and attempts
  to define best practices that help:

    * Preserve the One Web while enabling content publishing to a
      multiplicity of delivery contexts.
    * Enable the creation of RESTful URIs that remain representation
      agnostic while delivering the correct end-user experience.
    * Enable automatic discovery of the available representations.
    * Enable web crawlers discover the relationship between a given
      generic resource and the specific resources that correspond to its
      various alternatives. This will help search engines build better Web
      indices and avoid the need to index all available alternatives of a
      given resource.

Additional TAG findings, both approved and in draft state, are also available at

For the TAG,
Vincent Quint, TAG co-chair

Vincent Quint                       INRIA Rhône-Alpes
INRIA                               ZIRST
e-mail:      655 avenue de l'Europe
Tel.: +33 4 76 61 53 62             Montbonnot
Fax:  +33 4 76 61 52 07             38334 Saint Ismier Cedex

Received on Wednesday, 1 November 2006 10:51:50 UTC