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Re: Introduction to URIs (was RE: WebArch introduction, sort of)

From: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 18:20:27 -0800
Message-ID: <29af5e2d0901271820k2c15e4bna7737d66f57714f5@mail.gmail.com>
To: Larry Masinter <LMM@acm.org>
Cc: "Booth, David (HP Software - Boston)" <dbooth@hp.com>, "Henry S. Thompson" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, www-tag@w3.org

On Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 6:56 PM, Larry Masinter <LMM@acm.org> wrote:
> I might ask "what is correct?" and "what is a non-information resource"?
> My point wasn't to debate the merits of one definition or another,
> it was exactly to point out that the question rests entirely on
> terms that have no good definition by themselves, and that you might
> as well resolve them by definition rather than continuing to debate
> them.

Certainly one should resolve questions about them wrt to a definition,
if possible. So when you answered "No, by definition", that seemed
correct. Even if one can't tell an information resource from not an
information resource (Impossible with the current definitions) if you
are sure your resource isn't one, then you can't return 200.

But then you through me off with

Define "information resource" as a resource in which it is reasonable
to expect to be able to retrieve a representation

This isn't operational because we don't have a way to evaluate
reasonableness in the abstract.

If you said, instead, that an information resource one one for which
you *have* received a representation, you would have something that is

But I don't think its the way to go. I think Tim has something in mind
when he says information resource and that job #1 is to craft a
definition that accurately, and in a manner that it can be conveyed to
others, captures the sense of it. Job #2 is to see whether there is
consensus that the captured sense is something with which it is wise
to build network protocols.


> If it isn't clear, I'm in favor of taking an operational approach.
> Larry
> --
> http://larry.masinter.net
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Alan Ruttenberg [mailto:alanruttenberg@gmail.com]
> Sent: Monday, January 26, 2009 5:47 PM
> To: Larry Masinter
> Cc: Booth, David (HP Software - Boston); Henry S. Thompson; www-tag@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Introduction to URIs (was RE: WebArch introduction, sort of)
> On Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 2:56 PM, Larry Masinter <LMM@acm.org> wrote:
>>        "There is real debate underway at the moment as to whether it is
> correct
>>        for a web server to return a 200 OK response code in a response to
> a
>>        request for a URI which identifies a non-information resource."
>> Suggest "No, by definition":
>> Define "information resource" as a resource in which it is reasonable
>> to expect to be able to retrieve a representation.
> What is reasonable? What is a representation?
> -Alan
>> Then:
>> * If it were correct to send 200 OK, then the resource would be an
>>  "information resource" and thus not a "non-information resource".
>> * Thus, by elimination, it is not correct to return 200 OK for
>>  non-information resources.
>>> "Therefore, the use of a URI to directly denote both an information
>>>       resource and a non-information resource should be viewed as a
>> violation
>>>       of good practice, but *not* a violation of Web architecture."
>> Use of a URI to directly denote anything is always a leap of faith.
>> Larry
>> --
>> http://larry.masinter.net (I am not a number. I am also not my web page.)
Received on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 02:21:02 UTC

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