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   Re: Toward the self-describing web

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  • From: Eric Bohlman <ebohlman@netcom.com>
  • To: "Stephen T. Mohr" <smohr@voicenet.com>
  • Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 19:49:32 -0700 (PDT)

On Thu, 18 May 2000, Stephen T. Mohr wrote:

> The problem is that different consumers require different representations,
> and simply supplying a URL doesn't address this.  Is anyone interested in
> discussing a simple protocol for managing different representations over an
> HTTP-based URL?
> Just off the top of my head, I'm thinking something on the order of posting
> a desired MIME type and receiving the appropriate document.  Thus, my
> application might request a schema, but when I can't get it to work I'd use
> my dev environment to request the HTML documentation.  Or perhaps the URL
> returns a list of supported representations and their individual URLs.

This sounds very much like what extended links (as in XLink) were designed
for.  Extended links, of course, can be out-of-line and need not even be
directly "pointed at" by one of their participants, so they strike me as a
reasonable way to handle "packaging" issues--certainly a more reliable way
than tieing the packaging mechanism to a particular transport protocol
like HTTP.

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