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Re: Permitting non-indirect links

From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997 08:09:57 -0500
Message-ID: <32DE28A5.3567@csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
To: Martin Bryan <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com>
CC: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
> >And although it is somewhat verbose, any indirection as powerful as Martin
> >seems to want is going to be verbose, so I don't feel that we're condemning
> >naive users to endless obscurity if we decide that entities are good
> >enough.
> If you consider the HoTMetal URL creation menu verbose then how come
> HoTMetaL is a leader in the field? All I am doing is say store the info
> HoTMetaL creates in its separate boxes as separate attributes until such
> time as you call the file, instead of resolving the complete URL the minute
> you close the attribute menu.

HoTMetaL has many things to reccommend it. Many HTML editors have that same kind of URL 
definition field, and I consider it a big mistake unless it is accompanied by a space 
where you can just type a URL. Most people get URLs from web browsers, search engines, 
the newspaper, television, etc. In none of those situations would the "domain name" be 
distinct from the "host name" or the "path" or the "protocol." All but the most 
technical authors just want to cut and paste an *opaque string*.

In other words, there are good features in your proposal, especially maintenance 
benefits, but I think that making the argument from a *usability* standpoint is going to 
lose. There is nothing particularly usable about those little dialogs (and they 
show up in MANY HTML editors) except to the minority of the population that knows what a 
"protocol" is.

 Paul Prescod
Received on Thursday, 16 January 1997 08:06:41 UTC

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