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Re: xmllink-970406 various

From: Terry Allen <tallen@sonic.net>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 1997 08:17:51 -0700
Message-Id: <199704091517.IAA13886@bolt.sonic.net>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org

Len writes:
| > Nothing, you said it with "nothing specific to XML here".  You want
| > (reasonably) a facility that URLs don't provide yet, to wit,
| > fallback to fragment-ID behavior if the query isn't understood.
| > Or you want to instantiate a (one among many) standardized query
| > language in URLs at least to the extent of being able to declare
| > what it is.
| > 
| > The solution is to ask for it of those responsible for URLs and
| > perhaps HTTP.
| 
| This doesn't jibe with my understanding of URLs, HTTP and the 
| specifications which standardize them.  My reading is that 
| they provide a *placeholder* for queries, but don't define 
| them.  It is the responsibility of those who specify the 
| client user agent to do this.  I may be confused on this point, 
| but it also appears that a complete instance is always returned 
| and the user agent must resolve the query.  If so, then the 
| point would be for those defining clients to support the 
| specified query language, not the URL or HTTP specs or specifiers.

In that case the effect of using # or ? is the same, and there's
no particular need to specify how to use ?.  As in practice,

  http://www.sil.org/sgml/sgml.html

gets you Robin Cover's SGML Web Page, and

  http://www.sil.org/sgml/sgml.html?foobaz

gets you

"SEARCH program (www_root:[bin]wwwsearch.exe) not found."

it would appear that ? is unreliable.  (That was my quick
test; are the results anomalous?)

| Many would like server side support 
| such that fragments (gotta use the term SGML Open defines here) 
| are returned.  This has been an obvious and real need in 
| SGML systems for a long time.  The work I have done in the 
| area of IETMs indicated to me at least, that the query was 
| the best solution to the user and management interfaces to 
| highly dynamic data.  High dynamism is the hallmark of  
| concurrent integrated development environments.  Where the 
| enterprise is large, the product complex, and the developers 
| are geographically distributed, stored queries are vital 
| to coping with the dynamic aspects of workflow.  This isn't 
| the place to get further into this, but I assert the requirements 
| are quite real and should not be held back by the slow moving 
| evolution of the WWW protocol standards.

I agree with the first part of that, but I don't see how we can not be
held back unless we are willing to specify XML-compliant server
behavior.  

| So, even if there remains much definitional work to be done, 
| I must side with Michael and argue that at least a default 
| query language and behaviors should be defined for XML at 
| this time.

Which implies conformance language, and its being binding on
servers, doesn't it?


Regards,
  Terry Allen    Electronic Publishing Consultant    tallen[at]sonic.net
                   http://www.sonic.net/~tallen/
    Davenport and DocBook:  http://www.ora.com/davenport/index.html
          T.A. at Passage Systems:  terry.allen[at]passage.com 
Received on Wednesday, 9 April 1997 11:17:08 EDT

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