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RE: HTTP Endpoints and Resources

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2007 16:42:35 -0500
Message-Id: <p0623092fc323228602e6@[]>
To: noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com
Cc: "Booth, David (HP Software - Boston)" <dbooth@hp.com>, "Ed Davies" <edavies@nildram.co.uk>, "Technical Architecture Group WG" <www-tag@w3.org>

>David Booth writes:
>>  I think it is true for a 303, because by redirecing you
>>  somewhere else, the 303 is acknowledging that there is a
>>  resource associated with the URI.
>Are you sure?  I think it's very important that we keep this discussion
>grounded in the pertinent RFCs and specifications.  In this case, RFC 2616
>says of status code 303:
>"10.3.4 303 See Other
>The response to the request can be found under a different URI and SHOULD
>be retrieved using a GET method on that resource. This method exists
>primarily to allow the output of a POST-activated script to redirect the
>user agent to a selected resource. The new URI is not a substitute
>reference for the originally requested resource."
>That seems to me at best very ambiguous as to what a 303 warrants
>regarding the URI originally referenced.  So, you did a get to URI1 and
>got a 303.  The spec says "the response to that request is at" URI2.  Does
>that clearly say that URI1 has been "assigned" (if you like that term) and
>that it thus identifies a resource?
>I find the wording to be somewhat informal, and thus subject to differing
>interpretations, but to me 303 is pretty broad in suggesting "you might
>find joy over there".  That's about it by my reading.

Agreed. Also, while it is clearly the case that there is *something* 
that emitted the 303, and let us agree that this thing, like anything 
else, can be called a 'resource' in the present terminology; still, 
even if we admit all this, it does not follow that the resource that 
emits the 303 is an information resource. So for example, the 
following artificial scenario is possible: you GET URI1 and get a 303 
back to URI2, which gives you a document telling you that URI1 
denotes Harry Halpin, and also that the 303 was generated by a 
resource which has the URI URI3. When you GET URI3 you also get a 
303, but this time to URI4 which tells you that URI3 is a resource 
living on the host server, called Harry Halpin's doppelganger. At 
this point you don't know whether or not URI3 is an information 
resource, but I don't think it matters. Both URI1 and URI3 resolve 
initially to the same thing, but the responses to these requests are 
found respectively by GETting URI2 and URI4, the responses from which 
make it clear that URI1 and URI3 *denote* different things.


>[1] http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2616.html
>Noah Mendelsohn
>IBM Corporation
>One Rogers Street
>Cambridge, MA 02142

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Received on Friday, 28 September 2007 21:42:53 UTC

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