RE: 13 Aug Arch Doc available for review

Dan C. interpreted my intent correctly.  Strike 
that sentence from the document.

I understand the point.   The architecture 
document explains the fundamental assumptions 
of the way the system works.  Using that system 
in such a way as violates local legal codes is 
a social behavior under the governance of the 
legal codes, not the architecture.  To attempt 
to solve that in the architecture is to attempt 
to govern behaviors in local venues.  That is 
clearly out of scope for the W3C.  But, local legal codes 
can and will affect behaviors of users of the 
architecture, and in fact, can legislate architecture. 
The seat belt and the airbags in your car are 
examples, as are the requirements in many states 
that you wear the seat belt when using the 
public highways.  What one might not want to 
do is open the architecture document up to 
that possibility.  It CAN be done and the 
W3C will heel to it.  Bad pudding, yes, but 
not unthinkable or undoable.

This is quite different from the technical representatives 
of this or any other group taking up the cause of 
explaining to the governments what the limitations 
and advantages of the architecture are and how these 
affect or can be affected by legislation.  That is
an effort one can reasonably support.


From: Jeff Bone []
Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2002 4:42 PM
To: Bullard, Claude L (Len)
Cc: 'Mike Dierken'; 'Ian B. Jacobs';
Subject: Re: 13 Aug Arch Doc available for review

On Tuesday, August 13, 2002, at 04:11  PM, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> It isn't useful.  The government may or may not know
> they can outlaw the tides, but they can try.  The
> statement in the text is such that it infers that
> deep linking is not illegal.  In fact, it may or
> may not be.   The social codes govern social
> behavior.  Setting up a deep link is a social
> behavior because the web architecture does not
> differentiate; therefore, it should be silent.

Claude, perhaps you're missing the point.  Deep linking is not only a 
social behavior, it is a technical design decision made long ago and 
accommodated fundamentally by the Web's architecture, principles, and 
implementation.  The very fact that *the Web architecture does not today 
nor can it obviously and trivially be extended to differentiate between 
"top-level" or "linkable" public resources and "deep" or "non-linkable" 
public resources* is what makes it impractical for governments to 
attempt to outlaw such deep linking.  Any such legislation that might be 
enacted would be incompatible with the base of technology that exists 
today and with any foreseeable base of technology derived trivially from 
what we have today;  the reference graph of the Web is today a "flat" 
graph, with no concept of depth, and in order for e.g. today's Web to 
continue to function it must remain so.  Other designs might be 
possible, but they are neither contemplated nor accommodated by today's 

Thus, the issue cannot be solely termed a social issue;  it impacts 
architecture, therefore it must be addressed as an architectural concern.

The motivation for including any such language in the Arch Doc is not to 
normatively decide for governments what they can and cannot attempt to 
legislate;  it is rather to communicate to governments the existing 
design decisions and to (hopefully) inform them as to the practicality 
(or futility) of any such attempt to legislate in these areas -wrt- the 
existing and contemplated architecture of the Web.

While it is not appropriate for TAG to make normative statements about 
the legality of any particular activity, neither is it appropriate for 
governments to set architectural requirements for TAG or other Web 
standards-setting bodies.  Any attempt at legislating against deep 
linking would surely result in just that, a new architectural 
distinction between "deep" and "shallow" links.

It is important and appropriate for TAG to make statements regarding 
such things because (a) deep linking is an implicit and existing 
architectural feature of the Web, (b) TAG is the group mandated to 
describe and protect the architecture of the Web, and (c) the continued 
functioning of the Web architecture as it is instantiated today is 
fundamentally incompatible with such proposed legislation, implying that 
such legislation would in effect produce new requirements for future 
architectural evolution.  If it's not within TAG's mandate to push back 
on or reject new architectural requirements, then whose job is it?  Who 
safeguards the architectural interests of today's and tomorrow's Web?


Received on Wednesday, 14 August 2002 09:54:14 UTC