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Patrick Stickler wrote:
> The problem here is that if I dereference some URI expecting to
> access that actual resource, and get some metadata or RDDL document
> or something else in its place, how do I necessarily know that
> that is *not* in fact the resource?
You never, ever, ever get the actual resource. So it's easy to know. ;)
If you get back an HTML page then by definition the owner of that site
has said that's a representation of the resource (whether it be you, or
an XML namespace or a Real Document).
> It should be clear up front what "flavor" of URI you have, and
> whether it does or does not denote some retrievable resource
> or whether it denotes some abstract resource -- or if it is
> in fact the actual resource (consider a data: URI). And that
> should be based on a formal classification of URI schemes and
> URI classes.
I was arguing that two years ago. And I still see some virtue in it. BUT
you are not making the argument correctly based on the Web's
architecture. Resources are never returned. An "abstract" resource is a
resource that has no GET-able representation right now. Arguably
choosing to make a resource abstract is a mistake because later you
don't have the option of making it GET-able, as some people have done
with XML namespaces.