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Re: Deep linking barriers in the UK: The Royal Mail

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2010 23:59:42 -0500
Cc: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Paul Libbrecht <paul@activemath.org>, Henry S. Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, www-tag@w3.org
Message-Id: <79180E82-C4E3-40D6-A538-00D17F430D58@ihmc.us>
To: John Kemp <john@jkemp.net>

On Apr 24, 2010, at 7:27 AM, John Kemp wrote:

> On Apr 23, 2010, at 9:39 PM, Tim Berners-Lee wrote:
>> On 2010-04 -23, at 15:35, Paul Libbrecht wrote:
>>> Le 23-avr.-10 à 04:07, Tim Berners-Lee a écrit :
>>>>> What is the reason this is called deep-linking?
>>>> Well, it has been called that.
>>> Excuse me to insist but I really feel that calling it is tainting  
>>> it as sin while it really is just a usual form of linking and it  
>>> should be clear to be a normal right except on "evil sites". I  
>>> feel that naming it such, from an authority such as the TAG, does  
>>> justify policy-makers to write such conditions-of-use.
>> "Tainting it as a sin"?  I must be missing something.   What is  
>> wrong with the word "deep"? as in "not shallow" meaning "not to the  
>> highest level of the hierarchy". Can you think of an alternative  
>> word for the issue which you would prefer?
> I believe that the point is that a link is a link, no matter to what  
> place in a hierarchy -- proposed only by the site owner -- it  
> points. So why do we believe that (or talk as if) there is some  
> hierarchy ("shallow", "deep") implied only by a link?

This seems rather disingenuous to me. Sure, a link is a link. But I  
read the Royal Mail request (as quoted by Dan C.) simply a plea, or  
warning, that their 'internal' links are labile and liable to be  
changed without warning, and that therefore it would be unwise to use  
them as if they were stable links. In contrast to the links to the  
'top' of their internal hierarchies, which are promised (or assumed)  
to be more stable. Now, of course, this doubly flies in the face of  
the standard advice on the coolness of URIs: nevertheless, it seems  
like honest and potentially helpful advice about how the Royal Mail  
are failing to be cool in their use of URIs. No doubt such uncoolness  
is regrettable, but it does not seem to me to be a terribly important  
or far-reaching matter for the TAG to be considering.

Pat Hayes
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Received on Sunday, 25 April 2010 05:00:51 UTC

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