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Re: FPIs

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 02:27:57 -0800
Message-Id: <3.0b33.32.19961127022731.0076ae58@pop.intergate.bc.ca>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
At 03:46 PM 26/11/96 -0500, Murray Altheim wrote:
>Broken practice isn't a reason not to design something correctly in the
>first place. Had URIs preceded HTML, we'd see a very different Web today.

If the Web had waited for the URI problem to get solved, we wouldn't
have a Web today.  I think the problem of figuring out how to name things
properly in the context of a heterogeneous universal network is just
too hard, and anyhow orthogonal to XML.

On the other hand, a handful of vendors on the floor at SGML'96 were
showing off working software with typed multiway multimodal hyperlinks
doing things that HTML can currently only dream of.  The spirit of 
XML so far has been to go for the quick kills and pluck the low-hanging
fruit.  Which in retrospect seems wise; let's stay with it.

Which is a long-winded way of saying that I just haven't seen any
evidence in the field that FPI's have any *practical* utility other
than serving as a rather lengthy and awkward lookup key in a catalog.
I think the problem that FPI's purport to try to solve is in fact
a real problem, and in fact as soon as there is working technology
out there that demonstrably uses FPI's (or some other mechanism)
to solve it, we should adopt the proper attitude of gratefulness
and steal it.

The kind of argument on the WG that would succeed in swinging me
(and I suspect a lot of others) toward including FPI's would be a war 
story along the lines of "here's how we used FPI's to solve important
problem X, and here's where you can go and look at the software that
does it."  Of course, the software function would have to be something
that you could do in a lightweight, compact implementation.

Cheers from Melbourne, Oz.   - Tim
Received on Wednesday, 27 November 1996 05:33:09 EST

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