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   Re: [xml-dev] many-to-many

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Simon St.Laurent wrote:

> Nope.  I'm thoroughly frustrated with REST's refusal to let me actually
> talk about representations, but this is a separate matter. 

Over the past year, I've heard a dozen different people say "but we want 
to talk about representations".  OK, why not do it and see what you get? 
  REST doesn't give you a hook to identify one, but doesn't stop you if 
you if you want to invent your own.

It's a bit trickier than you might think; you could be talking about a 
very particular bag of bits, perhaps with an MD5 signature.  You could 
be talking about "the HTML version of the weather forecast" which is 
distinguished from the WAP and XML versions but still time-varying.  Of 
course, it's hard to talk about anything without having a way to refer 
to it, and I suspect Simon will barf if anyone suggests using URI to 
identify representations; but I think you could.  It would be perfectly 
reasonable to write an assertion that  "the URI 
http://example.com/weather/Oaxaca?mtype=html?date=yyyy-mm-dd reliably 
dispenses a representation which would have been the representation of 
the resource http://example.com/Oaxaca available in HTML on the 
indicated date".  Or alternatively "I have squirreled away a snapshot of 
the Nov 19, 2002 Oaxaca weather forecast at 

So it's certainly possible in principle.  REST doesn't get in the way. 
What is this useful for? -Tim


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