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   RE: [xml-dev] Re: Why REST was Re: [xml-dev] URIs are simply names

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  • To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>,<xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Re: Why REST was Re: [xml-dev] URIs are simply names
  • From: "Joshua Allen" <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2002 22:31:21 -0800
  • Thread-index: AcG3U25hVCLTIR3pT4q/qKZ6Ck2dEAAKJJgA
  • Thread-topic: [xml-dev] Re: Why REST was Re: [xml-dev] URIs are simply names

List members may be interested in Sandro Hawke's site that surveys the
different opinions, listing pros and cons of various identification


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@simonstl.com]
> Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2002 6:40 PM
> To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Re: Why REST was Re: [xml-dev] URIs are simply
> names
> On Sat, 2002-02-16 at 20:46, Jonathan Borden wrote:
> > The core issue is whether we are able to describe anything but
> "documents"
> > on the Web. One might take the position that nothing but documents
> exists on
> > the Web. But it is the literal incantation of a document which is
> defined as
> > the _entity_ (the series of bits)
> I don't think the incantation of bits is sufficient cause to believe
> that an abstraction called a resource lurks behind the bits.  Nor do I
> find that abstraction particularly helpful when it interferes (as it
> regularly does) with expectations about said bits.
> > As I see it, every document is _about_ something. It is that
> which
> > is the _resource_.
> So resources are kind of like Hegel's Spirit?  Maybe Frank Willison
> dangerously right at the end of:
> http://xml.oreilly.com/news/xmldevcon_0201.html
> Or is that more like Plato's Forms?  I'd really like something more
> tangible than merely "a resource is the object of an identifier,"
> is as far as URI folks ever seem to get.  Perhaps uselessness is
> beautiful?
> > Needless layers of abstraction are just a waste of time. On the
> hand
> > it is essential to distinguish between a description of something
> the
> > thing that is described. For example: XML Namespaces. The RDDL
> > isn't the namespace, it describes the namespace. Or your homepage,
> may
> > describe you  --if you say so-- but it isn't you --no matter what
> say--.
> I don't claim my homepage is myself.  I do, however, claim that
> http://simonstl.com/articles/index.html has meaning well beyond
> identification, and the reason that odd string of characters works has
> infinitely more to do with its role as a locator than as an
> The reason RDDL works is that people and machines understand URLs, and
> can get to the bits.  The URI part is, as I said before, hocus-pocus.
> I'll take incantations of bits over incantations abstractly
> abstract resources.
> The other problem, of course, is that isn't clear how these
> add up.  How do I describe http://simonstl.com/ns/fragments/ when it's
> both a document and a namespace?  I've chosen to take advantage of the
> URL-nature of the namespace to put a RDDL document there, but that was
> just me being nice, and now I want to identify the page separately
> the namespace in some kind of processing.  # doesn't seem to answer
> this.
> Identification is a tough problem, and useful in some but not all
> contexts.  I find it hard to believe that anyone but architects wants
> see architecture built on identification rather than something
> more tangible - say, location, even an abstract location in a
> That's served the Web quite well for a decade.
> --
> Simon St.Laurent
> Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
> Errors, errors, all fall down!
> http://simonstl.com
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