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Re: Hyperlinks: 3.3, agree with Martin; new req. 3.4, self-revealing links.

From: Michael Sperberg-McQueen <U35395@UICVM.UIC.EDU>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 96 12:48:06 CST
Message-Id: <199612201904.OAA26494@www10.w3.org>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
On Fri, 20 Dec 1996 11:56:53 -0500 David Durand said:
>At 8:19 PM 12/19/96, Tim Bray wrote:
>>3. Minimum Progress on Hyperlink Enhancement
>>
>>The minimum set of hyperlink constructs should:
>>3.3 support addressing at least by URL and ID attribute, alone or
>>    in combination.
>
>And offset, of some sort. Martin is right about limitations of read-only
>documents.

I agree strongly that reference to SGML elements not bearing IDs is
very useful and not too hard to try to do.

I agree also, though much less strongly, that reference to spans
which are not SGML elements is useful.  It's not nearly as easy,
though, and may be a tar pit.  (Offset measured in bytes? characters?
Is a byte an octet or -- this is Unicode -- two octets?  No, it's ISO
10646 -- four octets?  Is NON SPACING UMLAUT + A one character or
two?  You mean a smart Unicode system that normalizes my document
can break incoming links?  Gee, thanks!)

In fact, I think I'll put it the other way:  this is almost surely a
tar pit, though there may conceivably be a way to get arbitrary spans
of content without petrifying ourselves in arguments about
octet-counting, and if we can find that path, it might be worth while
taking it.

Neither of these, however, seems to me to fall into the class
'minimum progress needed to declare victory'.  We can declare victory
-- even more important, we can earn victory -- without either of
these things.  (If they were absolutely essential to all users,
systems that lack them would have no users.  The Web does have
users; ergo, ...)

-C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
Received on Friday, 20 December 1996 14:04:16 EST

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