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Re: Uniform access to descriptions

From: Xiaoshu Wang <wangxiao@musc.edu>
Date: Wed, 09 Apr 2008 15:50:56 +0100
Message-ID: <47FCD7D0.7060308@musc.edu>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
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>

Pat Hayes wrote:
> 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:
>>>>>>>> Stuart,
>>>>>>>>> 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 
>>>>> message.
>>>> 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.
Does it say 200 or 303 or IR?
>> 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.
I will do a simple word substitution to use your argument for human.

You send the text (image) of (the document => human) in such a way that 
it can be displayed. Then I look at it and I/ see/ that it is a 
(document =>human). This assumes of course that digitally encoded 
(documents=humans) count as (documents=>humans), 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 itself.
> 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.
But, then a URI never identifies the "document", yes?  How do you know 
the nature behind "http://dfdf.inesc-id.pt/tr/web-arch", is it a 
document or, an electronic one, or a paper document, which I do have 
one, or a plastic one, which I don't but could nevertheless make one if 
I want to.  Does its form matter to you?  
>>  Then, there is a subclass of digital Human, which is digitizable too.
> digital human?? Ive never met one yet.
Ask Newton about digitized document, he will give you the same answer.
> 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).
Isn't it you who intend to confuse but not me? I tried to tell you that 
"http://dfdf.inesc-id.pt/tr/web-arch" denotes a digital object, but you 
can get a digital representation of it from the web.  But it is you who 
insist to say that "http://dfdf.inesc-id.pt/tr/web-arch" is a digital 
representation, but not a digital object, right?
>>  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?
My earlier sentence is communicate our viewpoint of a resource (through 
its digital representation).

Received on Wednesday, 9 April 2008 14:53:29 UTC

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