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   Re: [xml-dev] Utilizing the Web's Whole Information Space, i.e., Mechani

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Hi Roger.

I think that to achieve your objective it is necessary to distinguish more carefully between 'information' and the addressing of information. The Web is an address space. To publish on the Web is to expose information to the address space of the Web, where it may be acted on in various ways and for various purposes by the mechanisms which you identify, and by others. Identifying the 'whole space of information' is a Sisyphean task:  as has already been pointed out in this thread, new mechanisms for exploiting the address space of the Web have been implemented since those you list, and others surely will be developed. Furthermore, crucial information upon which those mechanisms depend is not itself published in the Web address space:  the reference data and industry expertise on which services must rely, for example, in their processing of data exposed to the Web address space is likely to be proprietary and guarded. Nevertheless, that information is a crucial component of the 'whole space of information' which you seek to identify, yet it can likely only be referenced through the nexus which the service that invokes it provides to the address space of the Web. In short, then, it seems that the better way to achieve something like your objective is to catalogue the various mechanisms which utilize the address space of the Web--a list which you can expect will grow--and then to understand the ways, particularly the innovative ways, in which each exploits the unique nexus of the Web.


Walter Perry

"Costello, Roger L." wrote:

Hi Folks,
My objective is:
    - to understand the Web as a "space" of information
    - to learn to take effective advantage of the whole space of information
In other words, to effectively utilize the Web I must be able to exploit all the information, not just information from, say, web services.
I am seeking your thoughts on this topic.
The above is pretty abstract, so let me make it more concrete.
Let me start by giving my definition of the Web, and then a concrete statement of my objective:
Definition: The Web is a network of information, that can be traversed and assembled in user-specified ways.
Problem: If the Web is all about creating and exploiting networks of information, then it makes sense to understand the Web's fundamental mechanisms/patterns of information formation and usage.  So, the problem is to identify the mechanisms/patterns of information usage and formation on the Web today.
Here is the list that I have compiled thus far:
1. RSS/Atom: information is syndicated.  That is, consumers pull the information.  The information contains links which enable the consumer to traverse to information that is of interest or value.
2. Wiki: information is collaboratively grown.  The information is massively connected to other information, thus reflecting the many ways that knowledge intertwines.
3. Traditional Web Sites and Web Services: information is exposed (made available).  If a consumer wants it, he must go and get it.  Information is exchanged.  The information is linked to other related information.
These mechanisms/patterns all contribute to the Web's information space.  Effective use of the Web requires me to understand and utilize the whole information space, i.e., all of these mechanisms/patterns.
What other fundamental mechanisms/patterns are there on the Web today, that contribute to the whole information space?  /Roger


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