W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > April 2008

Re: Uniform access to descriptions

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2008 22:02:33 -0500
Message-Id: <p06230904c42723b6fd18@[]>
To: Michaeljohn Clement <mj@mjclement.com>
Cc: wangxiao@musc.edu, "www-tag@w3.org WG" <www-tag@w3.org>, noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com, Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, Phil Archer <parcher@icra.org>, "Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)" <skw@hp.com>
At 2:05 PM -0600 4/12/08, Michaeljohn Clement wrote:
>Thank you, this illuminates the discussion a great deal,
>especially now that Xiaoshu has confirmed its correspondence
>with his intentions.
>This immediately raises, for me, some questions (for Pat or
>Xiaoshu or anyone):
>- Is this view an accurate view of the Web which exists?
>   A goal?  Or simply an alternative, interesting idea?
>(I would say only the latter.  And I thought I detected a bit of a
>gleam in your eye, Pat, throughout.)

Yes. The gleam actually was a realization that this was (more or 
less) the picture I had formed when I first set out to read the REST 
work, in order to try to find out what the hell the TAG were actually 
saying; and slowly, painfully coming to the realization that words 
which peppered the awww literature which had seemed familiar - in 
particular, 'representation' - were in fact being used there with a 
highly unusual and special meaning. And yet, the whole story did seem 
to make a kind of sense when the wider meaning was used. I had never, 
until now, followed up that elusive notion.

>- Is the narrow, awww:represents meaning of 'represents' a problem
>   to be resolved by propagation of the original, broader English
>   meaning into the Web architecture?

Thats not how I would put it. The point is not to just get the 
terminology straight, but that the actual ideas seem to apply 
naturally to the more general picture; and these broader ideas of 
representation are now part of the Web, and are centrally involved 
with these discussions (whether traditional webarch likes it or not 

>   Or is the confusion a natural result of the co-option of an English
>   word as a technical term, comparable to our use of words such as
>   "server" and "client", in which case it should be resolved in other
>   ways, viz education and clarification?
>Again I would say the latter.

If it were just a matter of terminology, I would agree. In fact, Ive 
been trying to do exactly that for some time now.

>- Would the effective dropping of awww:resources out of the universe
>   of (convenient) discourse a desirable or acceptable state of affairs?

I wouldn't suggest that for a moment. I agree, information resources 
are real things and we must be able to talk about them. And the 
problem that http-range-14 tackles is still with us and needs to be 
solved somehow.


>>  We might call it a storyteller for R. R might have a whole lot of
>>  storytellers, each capable of telling different kinds of story about R.
>A question mostly for Xiaoshu:
>- In this view, do you consider it desirable for a storyteller to be able
>   to tell precisely 0 or 1 stories about R per media type?

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Received on Sunday, 13 April 2008 03:03:19 UTC

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