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RE: Using XPointer with HTML

From: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002 19:56:10 +0100 (BST)
To: Laurent Denoue <Denoue@fxpal.com>
cc: Steven Pemberton <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>, Jim Ley <jim@jibbering.com>, <www-annotation@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>, HTML WG <w3c-html-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20020403193905.L684-200000@fenris.webthing.com>

On Wed, 3 Apr 2002, Laurent Denoue wrote:

> Based on his research, David Bargeron (followed by Ka-Ping and myself) pointed out that
> "using 'human-level' page content as the basis for anchoring was more effective than using the internal structure of the page".

When we discussed the shortcomings of Annotea's "xpointer"s, both
David Bargeron and Ka-Ping made reference to their ideas.

It seems to me that the fundamental problem with XPointer is exactly
the same as with the oldfashioned HTML link <a href="...">.
It's a raw GOTO, with no knowledge of its target, and always
likely to be invalidated by changes in the target.

I too have worked on better link models, including Autoreferencing (1995,
based heavily on the work of Geoff Gunner) and its successor Holistic
Hypertext (1996).  Both of these were indeed implemented as fully working
prototypes, but died through the absence of a killer application.
They could of course be resurrected, and with a bit of work could be
applicable to Xpointer and XLink.  I attach a brief description (from
a lynx -dump of webthing in 1996).

Nick Kew

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Received on Wednesday, 3 April 2002 13:56:33 UTC

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