Re: HTML Links and Paths

Craig Hubley (
Sun, 21 May 95 00:02:51 EDT

> Terry Allen writes:
> > Murray Maloney writes:
> ...
> <LINK class="pathone" REL=begin HREF="http://foo">
> <LINK class="pathtwo" REL=begin HREF="http://goo">
> > You can have them. How the UA deals with them is another matter.
> OK, you are right, you can have them. But before I go
> putting something like this in the proposal, I wonder
> if we could figure out how a UA might deal with this?

We'll have to. Are you suggesting that an HTML document should be
able to define a path through the WWW, even if that path does not
entirely consist of HTML documents ?

> Being able to define and follow paths through a docuverse
> is a key part of the ongoing development of HTML and the WWW
> -- my assertion -- and I think that we need ways to include

I agree, but it is definitely an issue with "web", not just HTML,
scope. I don't think we can do this strictly within HTML unless
it is a very minimal mechanism that respects the link mechanism(s)
of other document formats. For instance, if I define a path through
a HyperCard stack in HTML, HyperCard expects to support a set of
linkage mechanisms that are common to all HyperCard documents, and
some that are specific to that specific HyperCard document. Once I
am looking at the HyperCard stack, how does the HTML control any
aspect of the presentation ? Does the browser stay up alongside
the HyperCard viewer, and communicate with it through CCI plus a
platform-specific application linking mechanism (e.g. AppleEvents,
OLE 2). This is a big can of worms to open for UA developers. I
think any such mechanism has to be considered separately from REL
values for individual links.

> path definitions and relationships within HTML documents
> as well as in related documents which on;y contain path info.

The 'path' functionality seems like a separate question than REL
values for individual links. Unlike REL values, it definitely
seems to require an abstract link model for the entire WWW. I
am not sure we are in a position to define this, certainly not
in HTML (or even SGML) alone.

> I'd like to see a real simple processing model and
> an unambiguous UI described. If it is not simple, then
> someone probably won't understand it -- likely me.

Me too, although I am worried I might get suckered by something
complex, with unforseen repercussions. :-)

> If it seems worthwhile to develop a thread on this topic,
> please respond with "HTML Links and Paths" as the subject.

Doing so. I agree, let's keep this path separate.

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