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The Meaining of Pages [was re:pages]

From: Jordan Reiter <jreiter@mail.slc.edu>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 09:04:04 -0400
Message-Id: <l03010d05afc5a2410f31@[198.77.183.195]>
To: Fabio Preda <Fabio.Preda@italtel.it>, earonesty@montgomery.com, www-talk@w3.org, www-html@w3.org
At 9:40 AM +0200 6/12/97, Fabio Preda wrote:
>On the Web, I think the concept of "page" is different from the
>normal concept of page.
>The foundamental unit of information on the Web is the "document".
>When you click to follow a link in a browser, your request is to
>retrieve the content of a document and not about a specific page of
>the document.
>If some authors split a document in ..."pages", that I prefere to call
>document or sub-document too, it may be for some reasons:
>emulation of pages, organize information about the contents,
>simplify reading, graphic presentation, etc...
>(I'm sorry for the language, I'm not very skilled in English).
>bye Fabio
I work in web publishing (as do, I suppose, many of you) and while making a
sales pitch my employer heard one of his clients give a pretty good
description of what a "page" meant.  She felt it described a "concept."  In
a sense, each page *should* be a self-contained concept, without a *need*
to go to another page.  There should be no sense of anything missing or
discontinuous (unless, of course, that is that author's intent for some
reason).  The fact that the browser *is* a scrollable medium allows there
to be no limit on the organization and placement of information.

I remember as I was creating a prototype online edition of a printed
magazine, I  was copying the table of contents to HTML.  As I did so, I was
including the page numbers.  When I finished typing it up, I realized the
unnecessariness (Is that a word) of my action -- on the web, page numbering
is both unnecessary and nearly impossible (hence, it occasionally poses a
difficulty when citing a long web page in a paper).  It was a brief moment
to reflect on the true freedom that hypertext offers.

I think that though this mailing list is no doubt focused on HTML syntax, a
discussion of the *meaning* of pages, as well as solutions to problems
posed by the web's unusual interface, would be beneficial to all.

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[                    Jordan Reiter                     ]
[            mailto:jreiter@mail.slc.edu               ]
[ "You can't just say, 'I don't want to get involved.' ]
[  The universe got you involved."  --Hal Lipset, P.I. ]
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Received on Thursday, 12 June 1997 09:00:43 GMT

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