URA as HTML

Leslie Daigle (leslie@beethoven.bunyip.com)
Wed, 22 Mar 95 13:05:03 -0500


Date: Wed, 22 Mar 95 13:05:03 -0500
From: Leslie Daigle <leslie@beethoven.bunyip.com>
Message-Id: <9503221805.AA19803@beethoven.bunyip.com>
To: ura-bunyip@bunyip.com, uri@bunyip.com
Subject: URA as HTML


[terry@ora.com, Wed Mar 22 10:54:39 1995, wrote:]

> A question in aid of clarification:  we would seem to have URAs 
> already in the form of HTML documents.  Do you consider HTML docs
> as URAs?  if not, why not?

Well, there are a couple of things to consider:

	1. That's tackling an implementation issue, not an architecture
	   issue.  So, I think it's a bit early to say yea or nay definitively.

	2. Having said that,  I would personally be unlikely to suggest HTML 
	   documents as an implementation mechanism for these reasons:
	
		. There is a heavy component of filtering/script activity
		  required by URAs that really has nothing to do with 
		  document rendering (and thus wouldn't be well-supported
		  by HTML)

		. Although the first application of URAs involves a fair
		  bit of (real) user input/involvement, the longterm plans
		  for activities supported by URAs include things that
		  will have no direct user involvement.  So, it would seem
		  a bit  limiting to tie their implementation into a browser
		  technology (e.g., by saying HTML forms can be used to
		  implement them).  

		. If one considers implementing a URA as an HTML form, then
		  you lose some of the "data object"-ness of the URA.  An
		  example that didn't get clearly suggested in the document
		  I sent around is that the URL/URN (HOW) specifications are
		  meant to be _constructors_, with the idea that a URA
		  invoker might want to use several URL/URNs created from
	 	  one constructor.  Writing an HTML form that allows this
		  starts pushing the limits of HTML-as-rendering language.
		
		. If one considers implementing a URA as a non-form HTML
		  document, my question is _why_?

So, the short answer is: you could probably implement a particular view of
URAs as HTML documents, but I believe  the URA concept is in fact a good
deal more general than would be readily supported by such an implementation.

Cheers!
Leslie.

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"Freedom without responsibility                        Leslie Daigle
           is anarchy"                                 leslie@bunyip.com
                  -- ThinkingCat                       Montreal, Canada
 
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