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Re: [httpRedirections-57] Resource-Decription Header: a possible proposal to consider.

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 16:33:48 -0500
Message-Id: <DFEC73FE-57F8-4121-9C24-F56644C58AD1@creativecommons.org>
Cc: "Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)" <skw@hp.com>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>, Jonathan Borden <jonathan@openhealth.org>
To: "Booth, David (HP Software - Boston)" <dbooth@hp.com>

On Feb 8, 2008, at 3:32 AM, Booth, David (HP Software - Boston) wrote:

>> From: Jonathan Rees
>> ... This would be important for a wide variety of
>> applications, including provenance, versioning, licensing, and site
>> policy, that currently have to be layered in awkward ways on top of
>> HTTP.
> You don't have to bake anything in to HTTP to do that.  A 303  
> redirect can be used with an awww:InformationResource just as it  
> can be used with anything else.  ...

Yes, I have done this kind of thing, and there is even something like  
it in the infrastructure I helped set up for the Neurocommons  
project. I considered writing about this idea and arguing against it  
in the message that you quote, but thought it was too baroque and  
such a discussion would distract from my point... so instead I swept  
it under the phrase you quote above "awkward ways on top of HTTP".

Let me tell you the situation I find myself in. I and others at  
Science Commons talk to many web site operators and online  
publishers, some with a quite large number of valuable documents  
(hundreds of millions). Some of these people are sympathetic to the  
idea of providing RDF-based metadata with the end of creating a  
'semantic web' of some kind (to them, it generally means better  
indexing and search and therefore a wider audience for their wares).  
When they ask what I want them specifically to do, I'm at a bit of a  
loss. The 303 story doesn't resonate since they're not necessarily  
very sophisticated in the semantic-web direction and they don't  
shepherd any URIs for non-IRs (yet). If I were to trot out the idea  
of an IR with a 303 redirect to some RDF containing a link to a  
second IR that yields 200s, I would lose all credibility. Leaving  
aside performance questions, they certainly don't want to change  
their site's behavior very much. But I think I *would* stand a good  
chance of getting some of them to add Resource-description: or Link:  
headers to their 200 responses, and, if I could give guidance on what  
sort of RDF to generate, they might be willing to generate it.

I think it doesn't help if existing protocols provide a 100% solution  
if they don't also admit a realistic adoption path.

Received on Sunday, 10 February 2008 21:34:15 UTC

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