March 20, 2010
"Information" is not very helpful
If you buy into the "information resource vs. non-information resource" conception of Linked Data, the answer to the question "is this identified thing an information resource?" is either "yes" (2XX), "maybe" (303 or hashURI) or "I don't know" (4XX).
The second answer changes if you buy into the "Web Document vs. Real World Object" conception of Linked Data: "is this identified thing a Web Document?" "yes" (2xx), "no" (303 or hashURI) or "I don't know" (4xx).
As a client looking at response codes, I can't really know which interpretation the Linked Data URI designer intended. Nevertheless, as a coiner of Linked Data URIs, we need to choose one or the other (and hopefully not waffle and use both.)
Which interpretation would you choose? Keep in mind that "document" can be modeled as an abstract concept and thus identified as a "Real World Object" using 303 links to a variety of "Web Document" representations.