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Re: Is Resource/Representation a fruitful abstraction? (wasRe:

resource abstraction
On Sun, 26 Jan 2003 12:08:46 -0500, Jonathan Borden 
<jonathan@o...> wrote:

> Roy Fielding has strong opinions on this, and I'd say that the success of
> Apache lends some credence to his _assertions_.

It's not hard to find Roy's assertions, and put-downs of "CGI cruft" that 
violate REST.  It's harder to find evidence that the sites build explicitly 
or implicitly according to REST principles actually work better.  Apache 
(the software) happily supports both, nicht war?  For that matter, if REST 
principles govern the Web as we know it, why are application servers a 
multi-billion dollar industry?  Isn't their main point to bridge the 
impedance mismatch between the stateless Web protocols and the highly 
stateful back-end applications so that the world as a whole doesn't have to 
rewrite everthing RESTfully in order to to work on the Web?  (A real 
question I don't know the answer to, not a rhetorical one).

> Have you read http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-mt/ at any length? Is this useful?

I'd say that the Resource abstraction is a powerful one in the RDF 
paradigm.  The whole point is to make rigorous assertions about some 
"thing" in relation to other "things".  I have no problem with that.   I 
(along with the TAG, it seems) am not so sure that there is a close 
alignment between the REST notion of a Resource and the RDF notion of a 
Resource, however.

> . We use  _empiricism_
> to find out that there is math going on that does not conform to the
> expected standards of math (vis a vie accounting) NOT to argue over the
> basic characteristics of math -- well the Enron and WorldCom folks are
> exactly trying to argue that - aren't they?

Hmmm.  Interesting analogy ...The problem I'm pointing to is that the 
"expected standards" in our world are still at the level of religion rather 
than science.  The definitions behind RDF and/or REST will be accepted when 
and if the overall theories prove empirically powerful as the bases for 
useful and efficient web sites and services.  Until then, demanding 
conformance with the definitions and theories by the authority of the TAG 
or anyone else is both counterproductive and doomed to lead to the kind of 
contention that we're seeing.


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