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

For years I have felt passionately about the technological-magic power 
of the URI that names the Document that it also retrieves. I have agreed 
with people who argued that it should be preserved above all.

My own opinion for all these years was that this magical combining of 
naming with retrieving should also, if it only could, be extended to 
other Things as well. And I spent a good bit of time researching the 
question of how the sense of  "that-which-is-identified-by-a-URI", its 
meaning or its denotation, could somehow be represented in such a way 
that it could be returned by a URI over the web with some of the power 
of the URI that simultaneously names *and* retrieves the Document it names.

But today, I am abandoning that hope. Instead, I now believe that it was 
the original belief that was wrong. That URIs *retrieve* a Document 
doesn't make the URI the only or best or obvious name for that Document 
because Retrieval doesn't establish the 
"that-which-is-identified-by-a-URI", the denotation or meaning, any 
better than other means of representation. So the naming of Documents 
has no magic solution over the naming of any other Thing.

Once I abandon the belief that Retrieval somehow establishes the Name of 
that Retrieved, this whole discussion seems moot: HTTPrange-14, 303s, 
the definition of Resource, Information Resource, Document are 
unnecessary if the you see that HTTP retrieval is not the perfect way to 
establish the "that-which-is-identified-by-a-URI" of a URI.

IMHO (arguments supporting these propositions pending).

John Black

Received on Wednesday, 5 August 2009 11:57:51 UTC