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Re[2]: Summary: Section 2: What does a URI identify?

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 22:15:53 +0100
Message-ID: <19466942187.20020318221553@w3.org>
To: "Brown Mark R" <BrownMarkR@JohnDeere.com>
CC: "'Tim Bray'" <tbray@textuality.com>, "'www-tag@w3.org'" <www-tag@w3.org>
On Monday, 18 March, 2002, 19:39:10, Brown wrote:

BMR> While I agree that "home page" is an unfortunate and somewhat antiquated
BMR> appelation, and realize that the concept has no real, physical definition
BMR> within the context of W3C standards and protocols, isn't it still useful to
BMR> have a way of referring to some instance or element as the "preferred entry
BMR> point" into an information set, i.e., a "home page"?

(Pulls on dusty historian hat)

There was originally  distinction between

a) someone's personal start-up page, for when their browser first loads
b) the welcome page for a particular site or directory (called 'Welcome.html' in the CERN server)
c) the pre-generated index for a directory listing (somewhat mixed up
with a 'searchable index) called index.html in the CERN server.
d) the personal page of an individual, made available for other folks
to find out their phone number, interests, photo etc.

There was no name for the home page becvause, being personal and
likely not even being on the Web but on your local hard drive, its
filename was no-ones business but your own.

In time, the NCSA server blurred the distinction between Welcome and
Index - people always called their Welcome pages index.htm{l}.

Also, people started to refer to their personal pages as their 'home
pages' and in time this usage spread to welcome pages and even, at the
height of the infection, to all pages. Thankfully this useage is now
in abeyance, along with the term 'its on Mosaic'.

Meanwhile, once a term is repeatedly redefined or misused, its
'correct' or original usage can be problematic.

So I agree about staying away from 'home page' on the grounds that
everyone thinks they know what it means.

 Chris                            mailto:chris@w3.org
Received on Monday, 18 March 2002 16:17:46 UTC

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