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Re: Uniform access to descriptions

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2008 09:35:25 -0500
Message-Id: <p06230905c42282a57d7d@[]>
To: wangxiao@musc.edu
Cc: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, "Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)" <skw@hp.com>, Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, "www-tag@w3.org WG" <www-tag@w3.org>, Phil Archer <parcher@icra.org>
At 2:51 PM +0100 4/9/08, Xiaoshu Wang wrote:
>Pat Hayes wrote:
>>At 8:58 AM +0100 4/9/08, Dan Brickley wrote:
>>>Hi Pat,
>>>Pat Hayes wrote:
>>>>At 7:52 PM +0100 4/8/08, Xiaoshu Wang wrote:
>>>>>Pat Hayes wrote:
>>>>>>At 5:54 PM +0100 4/8/08, Xiaoshu Wang wrote:
>>>>>>>>Wrt to that resolution... a 303 response means *nothing*... 
>>>>>>>>if you happen to follow the redirection and find something 
>>>>>>>>useful about the thing you originally inquired of, that you 
>>>>>>>>trust and are prepared to stick in your reasoning engine, 
>>>>>>>>then you win - if not, of itself, the redirection has told 
>>>>>>>>you nothing/means nothing.
>>>>>>>>200 tells you that the response convey as representation of 
>>>>>>>>the (state of?) referenced thing.
>>>>>>>If this is what TAG accepts, i..e, 200=*representation of* as 
>>>>>>>oppose to "resource of".  I have no problem and would be happy 
>>>>>>>with it.  My perception is that TAG is recommending either 
>>>>>>>explicitly or implicitly the latter viewpoint.
>>>>>>Gentlemen, please both of you speak very slowly and carefully 
>>>>>>at this point, as a precise understanding here is critical.
>>>>>>Stuart, did you mean that the response conveys/ a/ 
>>>>>>representation/ in the webarch sense/ of the referenced thing? 
>>>>>>It would be helpful if every time the word 'represent' and its 
>>>>>>cognates are used in this very special sense, such usage were 
>>>>>>explicitly flagged, as it can very quickly lead to 
>>>>>>incomprehension when understood more broadly (as it is almost 
>>>>>>everywhere else in the English-speaking world.)
>>>>>>(Xiaoshu: from which it follows that in this case, the 
>>>>>>referenced thing in question must be something that/ has/ a 
>>>>>>webarch-representation; so, in this case, it/ cannot/ be some 
>>>>>>other kind of thing that cannot, by virtue of its very nature, 
>>>>>>have such a (webarch-)representation; so, to refer to such 
>>>>>>things - such, as we now might say,/ non-information resource 
>>>>>>things/ - requires something other than a 200 response. Thus 
>>>>>>goes the http-range-14 logic, as I understand it. Note that in 
>>>>>>order to follow this, all we need to know is that there are 
>>>>>>things which (a) cannot have a representation in the webarch 
>>>>>>sense but (b) that we might wish to refer to with a URI.
>>>(aside: perhaps 'http(s) URI' was meant here, rather than just 'URI'?)
>>>>>>Their exact nature need not be specified, but I believe that 
>>>>>>the language of 'information resource' boils down to  an 
>>>>>>attempt to characterize this category of [/things that cannot 
>>>>>>be webarch-represented by a byte stream/]. And, centrally 
>>>>>>important, not having a representation in the webarch sense 
>>>>>>does/ not/ mean not having any kind of representation, being 
>>>>>>unrepresentable, or not being describable. The webarch sense of 
>>>>>>'representation' is very specialized and narrow.)
>>>>>Pat, as I have detailed argued here 
>>>>>http://dfdf.inesc-id.pt/tr/web-arch.  There can have only one 
>>>>>consistent interpretation, that is: there is no so-called 
>>>>>"information resource".
>>>>The key issue is not what is an information resource, but what 
>>>>isn't. So, in your document you ask, what makes the claim "A 
>>>>person is not an information resource" true? And it seems to me 
>>>>that this at least has a clear answer: because a person is/ not/ 
>>>>something whose essential characteristics can be conveyed in a 
>>>I don't know what 'essential characteristics' are. Really. What 
>>>are the (erm...) characteristics of the 'essential 
>>>characteristics' of some [named type of] thing? Who gets to decide?
>>I'm reading 'essential characteristics' as meaning, roughly, what 
>>in OntoClean are called 'rigid properties' and what are often 
>>called 'essential properties', meaning properties or aspects of a 
>>thing which it has necessarily, i.e. which if it didn't have those 
>>it would cease to be what it is. Among my essential 
>>characteristics, for example, is my being human; or if you prefer, 
>>mammalian. And although we have the word "human" in English, its 
>>impossible to convey the/ property of being human/ in a message.
>But, what is the rigid property of being a document?

Exactly that: i.e. being a document. I can recognize documents when I see them.

>How to convey "the property of being document"?

You send the text of the document in such a way that it can be 
displayed. Then I look at it and I see that it is a document. This 
assumes of course that digitally encoded documents count as 
documents, which they now do. 50 years ago, they probably would not 
have, but cultural attitudes change towards such things.

>If you answer is "document is what is digitizable".  Then, you have 
>a subclass of document - digital document but not the document 

Again, a cultural shift of perspective. In current usage, it seems 
that 'paper document' is a subclass of 'document', the latter 
including all kinds of digital entities which never make it to paper.

>  Then, there is a subclass of digital Human, which is digitizable too.

digital human?? Ive never met one yet.

>Take gene as another example, Is gene an IR? It should be not 
>according to what you want to define.  We can certainly very 
>faithfully digitize gene's sequence, yes?

A gene sequence might be an IR, but not the actual gene. Genes are 
real things, not mere sequences: they have biological consequences, 
they cause things to happen.

>The issue in the web is not about defining those properties. It is 
>about communication.  That is how we communicate our viewpoint about 
>certain resource from its digitized subclass (representation).

Um.. don't confuse a digital object with a digital representation of 
an object. Many non-digital things can have digital representations 
(though not webarch:representations).

>  The purpose of the web is not about how to digitize resource but to 
>communicate resource through its digitized form.

Do you mean, communicate the actual resource, or communicate 
something about a resource?


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Received on Wednesday, 9 April 2008 14:36:06 UTC

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