Some thoughts about the repository

From: Johan Hjelm (
Date: Wed, Jul 28 1999

Message-Id: <4.1.19990728193335.020aad20@>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 19:45:15 +0200
From: Johan Hjelm <>
Subject: Some thoughts about the repository

I just tried to submit a resource to the repository. I filled in the forms
and then there was nothing to tell me how to submit the actual resource (I
am operating in stupid-user mode here). If there had been a submission
button that had enabled me to fill in the file name, or even better submit
the file, I would have been happy. 

Now, we are assuming that the user retains the log at his site (at least,
that is what it looks like). That might actually be fine (it would
certainly save a lot of disk space), but that is not how it comes about.
Also, it assumes that you know about cleaning the file, etc. I also managed
to submit a file with the URI N/A, which of course ought to have returned
an error message right away (the simplest thing to do is if you do not get
a valid URI, return an error message). 

I also am not sure about the XML-isation of the log. I would like to have
seen that happen; it would certainly have motivated me filling out all the
forms. I think a development of Balas idea, that you submit a string from
the log and the system turns that to XML, would be very interesting. If we
could create a simple tool for people to do this, and then let them retain
the logs on their own site in XML format, with a pointer from the
repository, we have a virtual repository all of a sudden. 

The user interface has also improved a lot. This one is actually easy to
use, as long as you are looking for resources. 

We also need to work on the help files. Users will come into this (at
least, that is what we hope, I think) and not have a clue about what we are
asking them. It is also a stupendous educational possibility, by the way.
If we could explain, clearly and concisely, what the problems are with log
files, why they need to be cleaned, and how they are easier to compare when
converted to XML, then people will listen and understand. 

Well, that was some thoughts from a hasty visit. 


                     Johan HJELM
       Ericsson Research, User Applications Group 
         Currently visiting engineer at the W3C
             The World Wide Web Consortium
    Fax +1-617-258 5999, Phone +1-617-253-9630
   MIT/LCS, 545 Tech. Sq. Cambridge MA 02139 USA 
        opinions are personal, always my own, 
  and not necessarily those of Ericsson or the W3C.