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Re: FPIs

From: Murray Altheim <murray@spyglass.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 14:03:16 -0500
Message-Id: <v02140b40aec23324dce6@[]>
To: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Cc: 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.

That was not my point. To be sure, it is so difficult a problem that yes,
the Web was built exclusive of the solution. But stating something is
simply too difficult does not make it go away. And why it's considered
orthogonal to XML is beyond me. We wouldn't be having this discussion if it
was truly orthogonal. 'Orthogonal' seems to have become a popular way of
saying 'I don't want to deal with this.'

>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.

I have a rather simple argument, and nothing along the lines of the
manifesto you demand (and maybe others are willing to deliver):

    "I don't want to hard code a SYSTEM identifier in 10,000 documents."

Using even relative URLs (which doesn't really solve the problem, and
introduces others such as ambiguity) provides no level of indirection,
which is required for portability.

I just read Jon's plea for movement of discussion back in line with our
agenda, so until we revisit this issue (after hyperlinks), I'll shelve this


    Murray Altheim, Program Manager
    Spyglass, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts
    email: <mailto:murray@spyglass.com>
    http:  <http://www.cm.spyglass.com/murray/murray.html>
           "Give a monkey the tools and he'll eventually build a typewriter."
Received on Wednesday, 27 November 1996 14:02:27 UTC

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