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Re: Uniform access to descriptions

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2008 09:19:14 -0500
Message-Id: <p06230902c4227d28343f@[]>
To: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
Cc: wangxiao@musc.edu, "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 1:50 AM -0400 4/9/08, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
>On Apr 9, 2008, at 12:59 AM, Pat Hayes wrote:
>>We have no idea. It could be anything, just as a 303 redirect tells 
>>us nothing about what the URI is obliged to denote. Http-range-14 
>>is silent on both of these cases. It only specifies that in the 
>>case of an unhashed URI returning a 200 response, the URI is 
>>understood to denote the resource that emits the response.
>So an IR is the sort of thing that can emit a response.
>Which means it can't be the Microsoft Word document I just worked 
>on, since as far as I know, such things aren't capable of emitting 
>Do I have this right?

Hmm. Yes, indeed you do, given what I was thinking when I wrote those 
words. But maybe I was thinking slightly wrong. Maybe what I should 
have said was something like 'the resource responsible for the 
response' or some such weasel wording. But as I tried to explain to 
Xiaoshu, I don't think that pinning this category down exactly is 
really the point. The cases that matter are when the answer to my 
question, however re-worded, are clearly 'no'. If I want a URI to 
denote a person or a piece of cheese or a disease or a chemical 
compound or a galaxy or Sherlock Holmes or a dead Roman emperor 
or..., then fer sure these aren't going to be either sending me 200 
codes or being retrieved to be sent alongside a 200 code or indeed 
having anything at all to do with http codes of any description. And 
these are the cases that http-range-14 tells me I have to think 
carefully about using an unhashed URI to denote, where care must be 

Imagine walking along a beach and saying, look how extremely wet that 
ocean is, and how dry the land is; and then ones companion looks down 
at the beach and says, but where exactly does the ocean begin? Is 
that wave "ocean"? When it becomes just a swish of water up the 
sloping sand, is that "ocean"? Isnt it better described as "wet 
sand"? And there are pebbles and small shells here: is that really 
"beach" after all? And he refuses to look up at the horizon in any 
direction, but keeps staring down at the water's edge, looking more 
and more closely at it and getting more and more unable to say where 
any kind of edge is. Do you see how frustrating such a companion 
would be, and how stubbornly unable to appreciate the point one had 
been trying to convey in the first place, which in any case was 
itself only a brief remark intended to lead to the idea of building a 



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Received on Wednesday, 9 April 2008 18:20:46 UTC

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