Re: W3C and Handle technology

W3Cs [Addressing/Activity] page says:

"What are you doing about broken links?"

Broken links is a problem with many causes, and hence many possible
solutions. Here's what we're doing
about broken links with the following causes: 

"The page moved"

Actually, somebody moved it. This is a social problem.* Regarding permanent
(or at least institutionalized)
names, see the URN discussion above.


Regarding *, the URL movement social problem. Naming will always be a social
problem, but the World Wide Web architecture seems to exacerbate the problem:

 a) Links are not first class (addressable) objects. If links were
addressable objects served by HTTP, new link formats could being treated as
new media types are. In fact, external, first class links are almost
required for a proper hypermedia rollout of new media types. How do you
embed an HREF in an MPEG?

 b) There is no standardized way for a content provider to set up a browser
and server independant address redirect. This should probably be fixed with
first class links.

 c) URLs are flexible, but as long as they must contain a domain name, they
are tied to a particular machine. This is a deficiency of the URL spec. Some
form of DNS for object names seems required in the long term although it may
not be feasible in the short term. (Is this related to LDAP? I can't find
anything on W3C's site about directory services)

 d) Link sources cannot specify multiple resolution paths for a particular
link target. This is an addressing (URL) problem.

 e) Link targets cannot "report" that they correspond to multiple URLs. This
could be corrected in HTML or in a separate link data type.

I don't see anything at [Addressing/Activity] that suggests that these
deficiencies are being addressed. I see lots of [good ideas] on the page,
but no indication that W3C is planning to adopt any of them as standards, or
promote their implementation. Is addressing on the back burner?

 Paul Prescod



Received on Tuesday, 13 August 1996 10:47:28 UTC