OBJECT: inserting textual "objects" into HTML.

Subir Grewal (grewals@acf2.NYU.EDU)
Sun, 3 Nov 1996 17:38:09 -0500 (EST)

Date: Sun, 3 Nov 1996 17:38:09 -0500 (EST)
From: Subir Grewal <grewals@acf2.NYU.EDU>
To: HTML Discussion List <www-html@w3.org>
Subject: OBJECT: inserting textual "objects" into HTML.
Message-Id: <Pine.ULT.3.95.961103172457.9564A-100000@acf2.NYU.EDU>

We were having a discussion on local NYU newsgroups about counters and the
various drawbacks of counters based on images.  Then it occured to me that
OBJECT can easily be used to support insertion of textual material into
HTML as well.  One of the concievable uses could be text-based counters
(regardless of their actual significance or need, counters are used by
many).  All one would need for this is the following markup

<OBJECT type="text/html" data=/cgi-bin/text-counter/fullpath/to/doc

The CGI-script would simply return something like:

76546 hits since August 12, 1996

which the client would include.  Presumably, the script would also be
capable of looking at the server logs themselves to arrive at the number
(if applicable/easier).  

This is just one proposed use, but others can be thought of, I came up
with insertion of random fortunes (since I do something of the sort for my
signature) or insertion of information gathered from the http-request
headers. What this does is reduce the number of instances where SSIs and
shtml are being used.

Wonder what people think.  I only brought this up since the OBJECT draft
specifically mentions "multimedia objects" (which presumably excludes
simple text objects) and a small Lynx test seemed to indicate that Lynx
would not incorporate OBJECT data defined as type "text/html" (Fote?).

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