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Re: "hypertext"

From: <jones@research.att.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002 13:31:44 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <200208211731.NAA18482@bual.research.att.com>
To: distobj@acm.org, www-ws-arch@w3.org


	Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002 12:08:09 -0400
	From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
	To: www-ws-arch@w3.org
	Subject: "hypertext"

	Just a quick note to try to shake up some of the preconceived notions
	of what "hypertext" is or isn't.

	"Hypertext" is roughly what you get when all of your distributed objects
	have a single method which means "give me your state" (i.e. pickling,
	serialization).  So rather than an object representing a stock quote
	with an interface with methods such as getCurrent, getOpen, etc..  you
	have a single method (GET) which returns a representation of the full
	state of the object, e.g.

	<quote symbol="foo">

It seems more flexible to think of "hypertext" as returning some view
of an object.  If you wanted, you could objectify the views I suppose
and then think of those as the objects that you were referencing, but
this would tend to obscure (for good or bad) the relationship of the
view to the entire object.

The common use of GET for queries heads in this same direction.
A query result is a subset (or view) on the entire database
being gotten.

URL's that point to a fragment or position in a document are
another example of subsetting or modifying an object reference.

	So it doesn't in any way constrain what can be represented (all
	objects can be pickled).  Nor does it constrain the consumer of that
	information to requiring a human process it (that depends on the
	specific form of serialization; HTML for humans, RDF/XML for
	machines).  It only constrains the way in which the information is
	made available; through a generic method invoked upon an object
	identified by a URI.

Can you define "pickled" for me?


Mark A. Jones
AT&T Labs
Shannon Laboratory
Room 2A-02
180 Park Ave.
Florham Park, NJ  07932-0971

email: jones@research.att.com
phone: (973) 360-8326
  fax: (973) 236-6453

	Mark Baker, CTO, Idokorro Mobile (formerly Planetfred)
	Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.               distobj@acm.org
	http://www.markbaker.ca        http://www.idokorro.com
Received on Wednesday, 21 August 2002 13:32:16 UTC

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