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Re: 1.4 a-c: Basic Terminology

From: Martin Bryan <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com>
Date: Sat, 01 Feb 1997 11:29:05 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>, w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org

>1.4.a What do we call the container used to hold the bits that
> point at other things?  (in current discussion: link)
>1.4.b What do we call the bits that point at other things? (in current
> discussion: pointer)
>1.4.c What do we call the things that are pointed at? (in current 
> discussion: terminus)

The thing that points at other things is an envelope (i.e. SGML container)
that includes as one of its many properties the current address(es) of the
object(s) to be located. One links a set of these addressed envelopes
together and adds some material about why they have been linked to make them

The addressed envelopes are not butts, ends or rope knots....
They are address containers that can be used to locate objects over long
periods of time. If we cannot recognize them as locators then we need to
recognize the fact that what is important about them is that they include
the current address of something that we will need to be able to locate,
probably at another location, at some later date. They are a form of
indexable address book entry. (Which is why they need to have IDs so that
they can be easily reused!) If we cannot recognize them as an address of a
location for some, to me illogical, reason then we must come up with some
wording that indicates the role of the element that is better than end or
butt. Perhaps we should call them 'chains to the post-points of
information-homes' to show we are different, but to me 'links to the
addresses of SGML containers' is the most logical way of describing them.

NB: The last part of this will need to change when we realise that we
absolutely need to address things at a lower level than SGML containers, but
that argument seems to have been lost for this month!
Martin Bryan, The SGML Centre, Churchdown, Glos. GL3 2PU, UK 
Phone/Fax: +44 1452 714029   WWW home page: http://www.u-net.com/~sgml/
Received on Saturday, 1 February 1997 06:33:26 UTC

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