www-archive and Web pride

By | 2003/08/01

For those not familiar with it, the W3C’s www-archive public email archive is a great place to peruse some behind-the-scenes activities which are public, but not announced. It’s also home to a lot of Tim and Dan‘s discussions which are redirected from other mailing lists. Well worth following.

While checking it out yesterday, I found this gem from Roy Fielding on ambiguity in identification and the need to confront “secondary semantics” that result from that ambiguity.

In 5 or 10 years, people are going to look back on these archives (and perhaps the RESTful ones on www-ws-arch 8-), and realize that these were actually some of the most advanced and important du jour topics in large scale distributed systems research and practice … a far cry from the esoterica that it must seem to Web services proponents. I’m humbled when I realize how fortunate I am to have understood this early enough (only five years late, relative to 1993 when I first learned of the Web! 8-) to be able to make a contribution to the World Wide Web project, if only through education and evangelizing (hey, somebody has to do it!). I’m confident it will be my professional legacy.

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