Thursday, February 24, 2005

Will Link For Food

REST design question #3: meaning of a link "The second counter-example is the rise of the rel="nofollow" attribute in HTML links, partly as an attempt to counter spam in weblog comments and wiki sandboxes. If anything, this appears to vindicate the old-school hypertexters. They should be rushing into the street in disheveled clothing with a mad gleam in their eyes, shouting “Look, we were right! It took 15 years, but finally everyone sees that links do need semantic information attached!” and so on. But they’re not, probably because they’re smart enough to realize that this isn’t, quite, change the primary meaning of a link. The rel="nofollow" attribute says that the author does not endorse the link target, but it still provides a more complete version of the information."

REST design question #4: how much normalization "The project I mentioned actually was trying to use RDF [first the 1.0 WD, then the REC]; unfortunately, RDF makes an example like my third one difficult, since in 1.0 at least, a property had to have either a link or content, but not both; you end up having to create a new, inline resource for every link, which is messy. I’m not too familiar with the newer RDF version, so I don’t know if they’ve fixed that by allowing labeled links.)"

REST design question #5: the “C” word (content) "On the other hand, the lack of any kind of standard content format makes it hard actually to do anything useful with RESTful resources once you’ve retrieved them. People have put forward candidates for standard XML-encoded REST content, including RDF and XTM, but it’s unlikely that either of these will take off, especially since RDF (the leader) does not even work nicely with most other XML-based specifications like XQuery or XSLT."
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