1.3. The Concept of “Resource”

Resource has an ordinary sense of anything of value that can support goal-oriented activity. This definition means that a resource can be a physical thing, a non-physical thing, information about physical things, information about non-physical things, or anything you want to organize. Other words that aim for this broad scope are entity, object, item, and instance. Document is often used for an information resource in either digital or physical format; artifact refers to resources created by people, and asset for resources with economic value.

Resource has specialized meaning in Internet architecture. It is conventional to describe web pages, images, videos, and so on as resources, and the protocol for accessing them, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), uses the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).8[Web]

[8][Web] The URI identifies a resource as an abstract entity that can have “multiple representations,” which are the “things” that are actually exposed through applications or user interfaces. The HTTP protocol can transfer the representation that best satisfies the content properties specified by a web client, most often a browser. This means that interactions with web resources are always with their representations rather than directly with the resource per se. The representation of the resource might seem to be implied by the URI (as when it ends in .htm or .html to suggest text in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) format), but the URI is not required ...

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