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Re: Yawas : new Web annotation system

From: Ka-Ping Yee <ping@lfw.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 1999 01:24:08 -0800 (PST)
To: Ron Zalman <ronron@techunix.technion.ac.il>
cc: Laurent Denoue <Laurent.Denoue@univ-savoie.fr>, www <www-annotation@w3.org>, Critters Project List <critters@crit.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.93.990320011333.3923A-100000@skuld.lfw.org>

I wrote:
> These references are predated by my introduction of the concept
> of "mediator" in 1995 (http://www.lfw.org/ping/mediator.html).

On Sat, 20 Mar 1999, Ron Zalman wrote:
> The notion of intermediator used in my paper, is an adaptation of
> the term defined by Barrett,R., and Maglio, P of IBM. It is similar
> to the mediator term you had suggested, but is much more general.

As far as i can tell, what Barrett and Maglio describe in their
paper is the same thing.  They write:

    We define intermediaries as computational elements that
    lie along the path of web transactions.

That's what a mediator is.  The following is excerpted from my
1995 definition:

    ... a mediator is a service that functions simultaneously as a
    server on its front end and as a client on its back end,
    which acts not only as a proxy for the user's request but
    also performs some useful type of processing on the retrieved

The second feature which i specified, modifying the link URLs
in a document to cause subsequent fetches to also use the mediator,
was my way of implementing a mediator to be universally accessible
to all browsers, despite possible lack of proxy support in the
browser and any firewalls that might get in the way.

I wrote:
> The above complaints are completely irrelevant to the type of
> proxy or mediator being used.  These are choices made in the
> user interface, which certainly deserves discussion, but the
> issues do not belong here.

Ron Zalman wrote:
> This is incorrect.
> proxy based annotation system (like crit.org) have inherent HMI limitations:
> The HMI is totally limited by the HTML\JAVA languages.

Sorry, please allow me to be clearer: that a mediator is limited
by the abilities of HTML in its user interface is granted; that a
user may be "disturbed" by the addition of buttons or extra
information in the page has nothing to do with the mediator.

> I believe you'll be convinced that such HMI capabilities are
> not achievable by proxy-intermediation.

You are absolutely correct on this.  It's an issue of trading
off the richness of the user interface against the
platform-independence of the system.


"I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with
the law."
    -- David Dinkins, former New York City Mayor
Received on Saturday, 20 March 1999 04:12:03 UTC

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