W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > xml-dist-app@w3.org > October 2000

Re: Removal (Time for XMail?)

From: Aaron Swartz <aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Date: Sun, 01 Oct 2000 22:40:31 -0500
To: David Orchard <orchard@pacificspirit.com>, "'XML-DIST-APP'" <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B5FD6DDE.1A049%aswartz@swartzfam.com>
David Orchard <orchard@pacificspirit.com> wrote:

> Ah yes, the advantages and disadvantages of pass by value versus pass by
> reference :-)

Obviously, choice is good. Considering the Web, Semantic Web, RDF, etc. is
all about URIs, if PBV is done (which I have nothing against), I think it's
absolutely necessary to pass a URI along with it. Of course, this possible
now with the mid: URI-space, etc. but it would be nice to have the option to
point to a URL which you control (like a web page) and thus be able to
update, modify messages, etc.

There's a definite need for a spec to allow people to send URIs over the
Web. I'm working on this with the changedPage spec -- basically a way to put
up a page on the Web, which will take notifications (as form-data/CGI-style
input) a URI. The understanding is that this URI has been updated, and your
application should go ahead and take a look at it. (Obviously, all sorts of
meaning can be then layered on top of this, etc.)

This is the serious limitation of the HTTP pull system -- there are no
"triggers" -- no way to see when something has changed or updated or added
without checking it repeatedly. This problem has come up a lot in RSS
(http://www.egroups.com/group/rss-dev) with RSS aggregators constantly
pulling the same RSS file every 15 minutes, even if it hasn't changed. A lot
of bandwidth waste.

A push system (ignoring all the negativity/hype/press of Pointcast and
friends) definitely has its advantages, as seen by the popularity of
email/listservs (push) as opposed to newsgroups (pull). Many people don't
have the time to go and check the thousands of websites out there that
they're interested in. Instead, they'd rather be notified when something of
interest comes up.

Sorry, getting a bit wordy, but I hope I get the point across. I think this
is definitely an interesting application/possibility/space for

        Aaron Swartz         |"This information is top security.
<http://swartzfam.com/aaron/>|     When you have read it, destroy yourself."
  <http://www.theinfo.org/>  |             - Marshall McLuhan            
Received on Sunday, 1 October 2000 23:41:42 UTC

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