What BASE means

Tim Bray (tbray@opentext.com)
Thu, 3 Aug 95 13:25:19 EDT

>From the viewpoint of a builder/operator of web indexing tools (see
http://www.opentext.com:8080) I had always thought the main utility
of BASE was to help people like us fight the otherwise-intractable
problem of URL aliasing. It is damn hard for an indexer to fight its way
through the rat's nest of IP aliasing, unix symlinking, ../foo/../bar
constructs, 'index.html' default, and so on, to figure out that
these 134 working URLs all indicate the same document. If people used
BASE (in general they don't, I'm pipe-dreaming) to indicate that
"this is how I'd like to be pointed to", it would make a lot of Web
navigational tools a lot easier/nicer to use, and a lot easier to
construct & maintain.

As for using BASE to maintain cache consistency in the face of current
practices, well, all I can say is: there are cockroaches with dollar-signs on
them crawling up the walls... I feel pretty today... the moon is a
violet owl tongue...

Cheers, Tim Bray, Open Text Corporation (tbray@opentext.com)