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Re: ACTION- 541: Jeni to help Dan pull together terminology on Deep Linking

From: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Date: Fri, 08 Apr 2011 21:26:58 -0400
Message-ID: <4D9FB5E2.1010202@arcanedomain.com>
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
CC: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
First of all, I mainly agree with what Larry is saying, but in any case I 
wonder if we should step back a bit. This document advertises its goal, 
primarily, as being to define terminology. The draft includes a definition 
of the word "cache", and I suggest we have two reasonable choices:

1) decide that for our purposes we need not define that term after all

2) give a definition that as straightforwardly as possible captures the 
essence of the term as conventionally used in computing, as opposed to as 
complicated by deployment issues relating to archive servers, etc. If we 
need some other terminology, whether existing or new, then we can add that.

Interestingly, for the term cache, Wikipedia's definition strikes me as 
closer to the mark than the one proposed by Henry:

"In computer engineering, a cache is a component that transparently stores 
data so that future requests for that data can be served faster. "

I like the use of the work "transparently"; though imprecise, it does 
capture some of the essence of who caching differs from other storage 
models.  I think the focus on serving "faster" may also be just a bit too 
narrow, as I think cache's are also sometimes used to improve availability, 
or to improve performance characteristics such as system throughput that 
might not necessarily be reflected in response times for the particular 
resource in question, so I might propose something like:

"A cache is a component that transparently stores data so that future 
requests for that data can be served faster, with improved availability, 
and/or with reduced requirement for critical system resources."

One might also observe that, as I think Larry has noted, typically, removal 
of cached copies of data affects performance or short-term availability of 
the data for retrieval, but is otherwise transparent to the operation of a 
system.

Noah


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cache
Received on Saturday, 9 April 2011 01:27:23 UTC

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