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   Re: [xml-dev] many-to-many

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Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> tbray@textuality.com (Tim Bray) writes:
>>The resource is identified by the URI, nothing else.  The 
>>representations can vary by time, by the nature of the user-agent, the 
>>IP address it's coming in from, and any other information available to 
>>the provider of the representation.  -Tim
> I think the main thrust of this thread has that URIs can effectively
> identify multiple "resources", whatever those are, depending on context.
> "The resource" as a monolithic being disappears.

I might agree if you drop the word "effectively".  I think the whole 
system, both the everyday Web and the Semantic Web, has a design 
assumption that a URI identifies something.  When this is not the case 
(stupid publishers, DNS ownership changes, etc etc etc), it is damaging 
to both Webs.  However, it does happen.  It should be discouraged and 
avoided, but it does happen and both humans and software have to deal 
with it when it does.

> That lets us give up on the notion of consistent (URI+time->result)
> expectations that Jeff seems to be picking on[1], and get on with our
> work.

I think it's highly reasonable to demand that all the different 
representations of a resource be at some level *consistent*.  I think 
the word "equivalent" has been justly criticized, but inconsistency 
seems like a real problem to me.  Unlike some, I'm not trying to claim 
it doesn't happen or that we can make it go away by writing specs.  -Tim


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