W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > January 1997

Re: Permitting non-indirect links

From: Martin Bryan <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997 15:47:33 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Cc: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
At 08:09 16/1/97 -0500, Paul Prescod wrote:

>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.

I wasn't picking out HoTMetaL particularly here, only the fact that their
menu matches the URL spec correctly.

> 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
>technical authors just want to cut and paste an *opaque string*.

A) We have agreed that there will need to be unmanaged URLs created by copy
and paste
b) An intelligent system should easily be able to break the copied URL into
manageable components for storage in the link manager.
>In other words, there are good features in your proposal, especially
>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
>show up in MANY HTML editors) except to the minority of the population that
knows what a 
>"protocol" is.

The majority will not know, or care, how to manage their files: they simply
cut and paste unmanageable strings that have no meaning as far as they are
concerned. Only people who know the problems of managing URLs will need to
worry about them being broken down into their logical components, just as
only those who care about the structure of their text files will need to use
SGML/XML. For the morons HTML will suffice.
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 Thursday, 16 January 1997 11:26:08 UTC

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