Re: Terminology for web servers and CGI?

Subject: Re: Terminology for web servers and CGI?
From: Richard Lippincott <rlippincott -at- YAHOO -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 09:23:20 -0800

Yesterday, Carl Stieren <carls -at- CYBERUS -dot- CA> pointed out some of the
pitfalls of using web-based material for research. First he said:

>I've fought my way through some World Wide Web >Consortium (W3C)
>before, including Resource Description
>Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax
>specification for XML.

>I have found most industry-wide specs >counter-intuitive. Now I don't
know whether this is
>* necessity (the result of the complexity of the >subjects), or
>* intellectual snobbery

>What would you call the following extract from the
>above-mentioned spec at
> other than
>Consider as a simple example the sentence:
> Ora Lassila is the creator of the resource

Carl then notes:

>From English grammar, we are taught to parse the >sentence above into
>Subject: "Ora Lassila"
>Predicate: "is"
>Object: "creator"
>... the reverse of what the above spec tells us!

And maybe this reveals a -third- pitfall that Carl did not list:
Authors writing specs in something other than their native language.

Ora Lassila is Finnish. Although I don't know for a fact how Finnish
grammar is taught, it's possible that the meanings of subject and
object take on a different meaning in his method of schooling. I know
that his English is pretty good, but it's clear when you talk to him
that while he's speaking in English, he's still "thinking" in Finnish.

(Ora, as it turns out, is currently living in Massachusetts, and
belongs to my model airplane club. In addition to writing W3C specs,
he also builds meticulously detailed plastic scale models of WWII
vintage aircraft.)

With our relatively easy availability of global communications and
travel, it's not always a simple task to determine if your source is
working from the same frame of reference that you are.

So, I'd add this third pitfall to Carl's list:

"A result of differences between the originator and the reader's
cultures and languages."


Richard Lippincott
Comverse Network Systems
Andover, Massachusetts
rlippincott -at- yahoo -dot- com
rjl -at- comverse -dot- com

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