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   RE: [xml-dev] What is "the Web"

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As long as a representation is returned, you are right.  
A representation of a physical singularity might be any 
of the things you cite; ie, documents.

A definition of identity where the words "all", "any", 
etc. are used will collapse into a singularity. 
At that point, we lose access to details.   If however, 
the Web is defined as an abstract "system", it is 
likely to be defined as a set of components 
any of which is boundable, but which when 
combined, the notion of boundary is described 
in terms of that assembly (the system, not 
the information it can represent).   These boundaries 
are useful because the thing named is the 
assembly, and the capabilities of that assembly 
can be specified and named.  Then and only 
then does the concept of identity as bound 
to location become useful because that property 
limits the choice of choices.  Basic Shannon.

We can cite abstract definitions of information space, 
and even very large information space(s), but 
the web is a system that enables us to identify 
(and I use the verb deliberately) and access 
representations of information items in the 
space.  That the space is abstract is fine. 
It needs to be.   One who cannot program to 
abstractions should not use XML on the Web. 
But ultimately the architecture of the Web system 
is concerned with the specifications of the 
components and the ways in which these can 
be combined to meet a given requirement in 
the context of a network:  The Internet. 

The Web is an abstraction.  The Internet 
components are not.  Information space 
is an abstraction; representations or 
resources are not.  We do not simply 
enumerate components; we define a context 
of use in accordance with the requirements.

We can usefully say that SOAP/RPC is a Web 
system and that information it accesses is on 
the Web where it uses these Internet components 
in accordance with these requirements (which 
Fielding, et al have brilliantly enumerated). 
We cannot be as picky about how extensively 
that is applied: that is, if a URI identifies 
a WSDL, that is on the web.  Anything that is 
returns as a representation is on the web. If 
the implementor chooses to hide information
behind that, it is not on the web and that 
is a strictly local and private decision, and 
not warrantied by the Web system definitions.  
If they use a Web service that hides these, 
then as TimBL and Paul have pointed out, the 
user is not held accountable for side effects 
if any.

Beating it out of them just makes the pig mad.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Baker [mailto:distobj@acm.org]

On Fri, Apr 26, 2002 at 09:25:20AM -0500, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> A black hole.

Could have lots of different representations;

- a picture (xray)
- its location
- its Schwarzschild radius

It obviously can't identify itself, but anybody can identify it for
themselves.  For example;


A GET could return any of the above.


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