W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-http-wg-old@w3.org > January to April 1995

proposal for a new html tag

From: Siegmann P <paul@cs.vu.nl>
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 1995 14:45:43 +0100 (MET)
Message-Id: <m0rqhmC-000BEgC@jol08.cs.vu.nl>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Name of the tag : <LP> and its </LP> counterpart
Mnemonics       : Lower Priority
What does it do : This new tag is an attempt at giving the author of an html 
	document the possibilty to give a relative priority to different parts 
	of his document.

Why it is needed:
It often happens that someone wants to view 
http://www.foo.bar/obnoxiouslylongdocument.html,
or wants to view a document of a shorter size, but has a very slow connection.
What usually happens is that the person accessing the document reads the first 
screenful of text, and bases his decision to wait for the rest of the 
document, or to break the transfer all together on that first screenfull.
So the writer of a long html-document, or a document with a lot of images has 
to make the first screenfull attractive enough in order to have his entire 
document read.
This is in sharp contrast with the idea of structured documents.

My proposed solution to this problem is the following:
Order the different parts of the document according to their relative 
importance, with the use of the proposed <LP> tag.
This tag lowers the priority of the enclosed block, and can be nested, to 
lower the priority of some parts of the document even more.

For example:
Here is a document describing a better mousetrap, and I, as the author, think 
that the reader should at least have read all my headers and the abstract.
The text between the headers is considered less important.
And as formal proofs are so impopular, the proof that my mousetrap really 
works has an even lower priority. 

<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>Mousetrap</TITLE></HEAD>
<BODY><H1>My better mousetrap</H1>
<BLOCKQUOTE>
<H2>Abstract</H2>
This is a proposal for a better mousetrap
</BLOCKQUOTE>
<H2>Introduction</H2>
<LP>                 <!-- HERE the priority is lowered-->
This is an idea that
blahblahblahblah
</LP>                <!-- HERE the priority is raised again-->
<H2>How it works</H2>
<LP>                 <!-- HERE the priority is lowered-->
It works like this....
<LP>                 <!-- HERE the priority is lowered even more-->
<H3>The formal proof</H3>
And this is the formal proof that it really works:
....
</LP>                <!-- HERE the priority is raised to the level of -1 -->
Lo and behold, it works.
</LP>                <!-- HERE the priority is raised to the begin level-->
<ADDDRESS><A HREF="mailto:psiegma@cs.vu.nl">Paul Siegmann</A></ADDRESS>
</BODY></HTML>

Now the viewer, or the person viewing the document could have several options:
 - Fast network connection:
	Ignore the priorities.
 - Medium network connection/curious person
	First load all the document parts with the highest priority, and 
	automatically continue loading the rest of the document in order of 
	priority.
 - Slow network/modem connection:
	Only show the parts with the highest priority, and only show parts 
	with a lower priority if they are clicked on (like with delayed image 
	loading)

All comments and suggestions welcome.

			Paul Siegmann	(psiegma@cs.vu.nl)
Received on Monday, 20 March 1995 05:57:02 EST

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