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On 2/23/06, Richard Salz <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > But I think the hardest thing to understand about REST isn't the
> > semantics of the operations per se, but how exactly to define what the
> > resource is so that the operations make sense.
> Yes, naming in distributed systems has long been recognized as a a very
> important, subtle, and hard problem.
> I used to say REST is just federated naming, but nobody understood me.
That's sort of funny. Very much in the spirit of Tim Bray's quote of
Phil Karlton on the two hard problems in Computer Science which hits
on both sides of the issue .
The problem seems to be why Len raises the pragmatics question, it's
certainly one of my favourite rants: local semantics don't solve
anything but local problems and global discovery is costly. Or to put
it another way, the higher up the food chain you attempt to do your
modelling the harder it is to make everyone happy.
So back we go to the permathreads on how to build the Semantic Web. I
happen to have pointers to two of my previous ramblings on this at
So I'll skip rehashing this territory and instead ponder the question
of what already exists to identify definitions? Are there some
standard name spaces on a couple of simple tags to frame anything we
think that hits upon a definition of anything else without having to
resort to breaking simple discourse into RDF. Eg:
<swdef:concept name="vegetable">some long random ramblings</swdef:concept>
Essentially, explicit but informal (latent?) semantic metadata for
bottom up search engine type discovery. Of course that doesn't solve
the naming question until it's propagated for a couple billion web
pages but it's a start...