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   RE: [xml-dev] Generality of HTTP

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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.)


-----Original Message-----
From: David Orchard [mailto:david.orchard@bea.com]

> Would the web still be the web without HTTP?
> len

Fascinating question.  Is the web identified by protocols, formats,
identifiers, or some combination?  Is the web:

4) XML, URIs
5) XML and HTML, URIs
6) 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?


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