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Marking elements as 'volatile'

From: Denis Defreyne <amonre@amonre.org>
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2005 16:57:37 +0000
Message-Id: <67795A24-5CD8-11D9-8657-0011242E113E@amonre.org>
To: www-html@w3.org




Hello there.

Back in the good old days where nobody had ever heard of dynamic HTML 
pages, browsers had a 'subscribe' function, so one could automagically 
be notified when a page's content had changed. With dynamic HTML pages, 
though, this function has become pretty useless. There's a dynamic list 
of referrers, a "welcome back, your last visit was on <date>" message, 
etc.

I believe it would be useful to be able to mark dynamic, ever-evolving 
elements in an XHTML document as 'volatile'. Volatile elements would be 
ignored while checking whether a page is updated or not.

Some example elements that should be marked volatile:
	- statistics (number of visitors, users online)
	- list of referrers
	- shoutboxes (assuming they're no longer put in those annoying iframes)
	- ...

I see two ways of accomplishing this. First way would be enclosing it 
in a <volatile> tag. Second way is having a volatile="volatile" 
argument.

I can hear some people whisper the magic word "RSS". Indeed, marking 
elements volatile in XHTML pages might not be very useful anymore when 
there's an RSS feed. However, lots of sites don't have RSS feeds yet, 
and some sites will never have one. What is more, some content is 
difficult or even virtually impossible to serve using RSS. This is why 
I believe that volatile elements in XHTML will be very useful.

Regards,

amon-re

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mail: amonre@amonre.org
web: http://www.amonre.org/
Received on Thursday, 6 January 2005 22:41:31 GMT

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