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Re: structured documents [draft-hopmann-collection-props-00.txt]

From: John Stracke <francis@appoint.net>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 15:17:47 +0000
Message-ID: <369CB91B.BD89E6ED@appoint.net>
To: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
"Slein, Judith A" wrote:

> I agree that if we tackle this problem, we should use existing tools for
> implementation if possible.  MIME is certainly a candidate to be taken
> seriously.  I see compound documents as a conceptual layer on top of WebDAV
> collections or MIME multipart or ...

The practical problem with layering like this is that you can't actually vary
the lower layers and still keep interoperability.  How many implementations of
HTTP, or SMTP, have you seen that were not running over TCP? It could be done,
but the resulting software would be limited to a small island of
connectivity.  Similarly, if a compound document spec just specifies the
concepts, and leaves the representation up to implementers, then we don't have
interop.  Whatever working group addresses this problem may want to layer the
spec conceptually, but they should make sure they specify a recommended
representation, too.  Otherwise we'll all be stuck using different
representations, and we'll have chaos until everybody migrates to whatever
representation Microsoft decides to build into Office.  (No offense meant.
Microsoft *might* spontaneously come up with the best of all possible
protocols; but the point of standards bodies is to make sure we don't have to
rely on them to do so.)

|John Stracke       | My opinions are my own |S/MIME & HTML OK |
|Chief Scientist    |NT's lack of reliability is only surpassed|
|Appoint.Net, Inc.  | by its lack of scalability. -- John Kirch|

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Received on Wednesday, 13 January 1999 13:16:53 UTC

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