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Re: URLs/MIME only?

From: W. Eliot Kimber <eliot@isogen.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 09:55:31 -0900
Message-Id: <3.0.32.19961231094949.00a7abd4@uu10.psi.com>
To: gtn@ebt.com (Gavin Nicol), dgd@cs.bu.edu
Cc: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
At 10:21 PM 12/30/96 -0500, Gavin Nicol wrote:
>>   I suppose we could declare a format for "#" strings that encodes our
>>location ladder. In fact, doing so would solve a serious user-interface
>>problem for prospective browsers -- but I am not so sure that new magic URL
>>hackery is really very nice. There is something in this proposal, I think,
>>but it doesn't feel right to me yet. For instance
>
>I have proposed something like this many times. I think a real
>question here is whether to do it as a fragment (ie. the document is
>the primary object) or a pure URL (the element is the object). I tend
>toward the latter. What I proposed was a simple format:
>
>   /foo.sgm/4/2/99                 - Child numbers
>   /foo.sgm/chap=1/sect=2/para=45  - Typed children

This seems like a reasonable use of URLs.  Given my limited understanding
of URLs from reading the RFCs, specifying locations of objects is in the
spirit of URLs, which are clearly defined as being "locations" and not
names.  It also explicitly says the locations are not necessarily
filenames, even though they may coincidently have the same syntax as
filenames in some systems--this suggests there's no reason a URL can't
address inside a storage object.

The only problem with this approach is the same one HyTime and DSSSL faced:
what objects make up the nodes of the tree you're addressing.  We currently
have three different tree views of SGML documents in established specs:

1. DSSSL default grove plan: characters and elements are children of elements
2. HyTime default grove plan: pelements and elements are children of elements
3. TEI implicit grove plan: elements only are children of elements

Nothing in the first URL shown above indicates which of these three tree
views are to be used.  You would either need a way to indicate the grove
plan or require the use of a single grove plan, which would somewhat limit
the utility of the scheme, but maybe not fatally.

Another choice, of course, would be to use TEI locators as queries:

/foo.sgm?DESCENDANT%20(1%20chap%202%20SECT%2045%20para)

Cheers,

E.
--
W. Eliot Kimber (eliot@isogen.com) 
Senior SGML Consulting Engineer, Highland Consulting
2200 North Lamar Street, Suite 230, Dallas, Texas 75202
+1-214-953-0004 +1-214-953-3152 fax
http://www.isogen.com (work) http://www.drmacro.com (home)
"Rats in the morning, rats in the afternoon...if they don't go away, I'll be
re-educated soon..."                 --Austin Lounge Lizards, "1984 Blues"
Received on Tuesday, 31 December 1996 11:57:29 EST

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