Miles Sabin wrote: > I think the whole >>system, both the everyday Web and the Semantic Web, has a design >>assumption that a URI identifies something. > > Maybe, but is that "something" a Resource in the RFC 2396 sense? Absolutely, beyond any shadow of doubt. 2396 says a resource is anything that has identity. > As far as network protocols and software are concerned, abstract > Resources do no work at all. What matters in a retrieval context is > that there be a functioning server that's capable of returning a > response, maybe with a response entity, maybe without. Wrong. The vast majority of software interactions with URIs - in browsers and web robots - involve no network traffic; rather the URI is used as a string to lookup an entry in a cache or proxy or spider state machine or whatever. This is a direct function of the assumption that the resource is the abstract whatever identified by the URI. > So, if there were no Resources, or more than one, or different ones on > different occasions, what would break? Can you name one piece of > working software that'd stop working if Resources were to vanish in a > puff of existential smoke overnight? Well, if you talked only about URIs and representations I agree, the web would hold together, but it seems to me that not thinking about what URIs identify is an artificial constraint; sure, you can pretend not to know what the letters stand for in URI, but do you really feel happier as a result? -Tim
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