W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > January 2009

Re: Representation consistency and content negotiation

From: Xiaoshu Wang <wangxiao@musc.edu>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2009 23:17:02 +0000
Message-ID: <496D20EE.5010403@musc.edu>
To: "elharo@metalab.unc.edu" <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
CC: Drummond Reed <drummond.reed@cordance.net>, "'www-tag'" <www-tag@w3.org>

Elliotte Harold wrote:
> Drummond Reed wrote:
>> #1: Requestor-dependent representations. Many sites return different
>> versions of a web page based on who is requesting it, such as a personalized
>> homepage. How does that fit with the rule? Is the cookie used to identify
>> the requestor considered implicitly part of the URI of the resource?
> IMHO, that's a violation of the web architecture. The cookie is not part 
> of the URI and should not be treated as such. 
> http://www.example.com/joesmith and http://www.example.com/janedoe can 
> be two different resources. http://www.example.com/ cannot be.
I don't think the argument is right because it effectively rules out all 
kind of *service* as resource.  Cookies are simply some data that stored 
at client side.  It is virtually part of the form data. I think web 
engineers constantly use URI-rewrite once they found out a browser does 
not handle cookie. That effectively makes cookie part of the URI. 

>> #2: A related use case is requestor-dependent access control. For example is
>> it okay for a request to the same URI to return a full web page for one
>> fully-authorized requester and a redacted version to another
>> less-fully-authorized requestor?
> Less problematic, but still questionable, IMHO.
>> #3: Content type-dependent representations. Can the view of a resource
>> returned from a URI as expressed by one content-type differ from the view
>> expressed by a different content-type? For example, from the URI for a
>> person's web calender, could a request for text/calendar (the ical content
>> type) produce one response, while a request from the same URI for
>> text/free-busy (a fictional free-busy content type) produce another?
> Not really. Fundamentally the same information shoudl be present in both 
> representations.
> Of course, all these distinctions are fuzzy. Putting a "hello John 
> Smith" or "Hello Jane Doe" at the top of the page really isn't all that 
> significant. However a page that shows John Doe's monthly credit card 
> statement is radically different from a page that shows Jane Smith's 
> statement, and those pages really need to have two different URLs. They 
> are not each merely restricted views of the complete set of all credit 
> card statements.
Received on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 23:17:53 UTC

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