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Rethinking this one, I'm leaning toward a more
radical or more conservative position. The
press are right; there is NO web. It's one
of those illusions like seeing animals in
clouds. The Internet exists as a system
of hardware and protocols, but the web only
exists insofar as someone or some group takes
existing content, hooks it together, and calls
that a web. There ain't no "The Web". SGML/XML
can work without touching HTTP, or even URIs
if the namespace mechanisms are ignored. That
is the problem with that mechanism: it wires
content invisibly to a protocol, then insists
it is independent of that system. The further
down the path we go to insist then that the
namespace has a semantic, the more we become
hardwired to that system.
There isn't a whole there; just pieces to wire up
into various systems with varying degrees of
interoperation depending on the way these are
hooked together, much like a component-based
DVD player (cheap or expensive depending on
source, QoS, etc). So the TAG doesn't have a
unifying job to do; just to make sure the
individual pieces work in the most common
assemblies presented to them for consideration.
The rest is individual interests or smaller
and larger communities of interest, but a unifying
architecture called "the web" doesn't exist.
What we keep doing when we insist on it is
much like the investment bankers who made
shares available to preferred customers for
flip it sales over dutch auctions. (Frontline
did a good expose on that one on PBS last night.)
From: David Orchard [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Would the web still be the web without HTTP?
Fascinating question. Is the web identified by protocols, formats,
identifiers, or some combination? Is the web:
1) HTML, URLs, HTTP?
2) XML and HTML, URLs, HTTP
3) XML, URLs, HTTP
4) XML, URIs
5) XML and HTML, URIs
or some other combinations?
I tend to personally think the web is #5 and it typically uses HTTP.
If I build an RDF application using URIs and I use gnutella/tcp to
distribute it, is it part of the web?
If I build a SOAP document and ship it via SMTP, is it part of the web?