A problem for "Web as distributed programming paradigm"

Clay Shirky clay@shirky.com
Fri, 24 Aug 2001 15:29:16 -0400 (EDT)

> The analogy breaks down a bit in that while cell communication is entirely
> associative / generative, the Web still has a notion of addresses.

So here's the thing that's bugging me. If a Web Service can be caller
or callee, there's no reason that the address I start with is the
address I end up using.

If I go to example.com/book_purchase?ISBN=12345&CC_number=6789,
example.com may call isbn.nu, and then call the site with the cheapest
price, and may _then_ call shipit.com to get shipping prices between
fedex and ups, and so on.

So the address I use is much more biological, if you will (and as long
as we're still having a conversatin in outer space), because the
address I use is local, and has effects which go on far beyond the
original horizon of my request.

Likewise, now that my XML docs have namespaces, my local doc can point
to another doc which can point to still another doc, so that its all
part of a fabric that stretches well beyond the local context i'm
acting on/reacting to.