Re: Historical - Re: Proposed IETF/W3C task force: "Resource meaning" Review of new HTTPbis text for 303 See Other

Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
> Nice concise history :)
> On Sat, Aug 1, 2009 at 10:14 PM, Tim Berners-Lee<> wrote:
>> I would like to see what the documents all look like if edited to use the
>> words Document and Thing, and eliminate Resource. That's my best bet as to
>> two english words which mean as close as we can get to what we want. Note
>> however that the web is a new system, a design in which new concepts are
>> created, so we can't expect english words to exist to capture exactly the
>> concepts. So we take those nearby and abuse them as little as we
>> can as far as we can tell at the time, and then write them in initial caps to
>> recognize that that is what we have done.
> If you were to go in that direction, I think you ought to consider
> adding "Service" as a third category. Thing at the top, with the
> children document and service disjoint (not a complete partition,
> obviously).
I doubt how that can be useful.  Service, document, content are all 
essentially the same thing when you view it from a communication point 
of view.  And the problem is not how an actual definition can be made.

It is not that people don't understand -- in a rough and intuitive way 
-- what a document or a service is.  We all do.  The issue is whether 
your set contains exactly the same set as mine.  More importantly, what 
kind of pragmatic difference does it make by making these kind of 
distinction? I heard a lot of blanket statement and I have never seen 
one case that is broken by it.

> The reason is that services operate very differently than documents,
> even though they can sometimes return documents. And what we consider
> to be reasonable representations (web sense) of documents have a very
> different flavor than the representations returned by services. If
> this distinction was clear then we might have a much better go at
> starting to more clearly document expectations on what are reasonable
> representations to return in each case, something that is sorely
> missing in the current documentation. (The usual answer - the
> representation is whatever the owner wants it to be - not very
> satisfying).
> As an example we could then say that POSTs to a URI that denotes a
> document are intended to change that document. And we could contrast
> that with POSTs to services, which do all sorts of things, for example
> run queries.
> -Alan
> -Alan

Received on Sunday, 2 August 2009 20:59:24 UTC