Re: Is this use of BASE kosher?

Scott E. Preece (
Thu, 3 Aug 95 16:11:15 EDT

From: Dave Hollander <>
| RFC1808 does not specify that URLs that are only fragments must be fully
| qualified before being processed, and it only suggests that they may be in
| the examples.
| Regardless of if you retrieve the document again or not (it IS the
| same document) the browser must *then* locate the anchor named "Printers".
| This is the desired result.

How would people feel about adding text in a future version of the standard to say that

(1) if a BASE is present, relative references are resolved relative to the specified BASE

(2) a stand-alone fragment is not a relative reference, but is a reference internal to the current copy of the document

(3) if the complete URI formed to resolve a relative reference is the current document or a location within the current document (where the "current document" is defined to be what is specified by BASE or, if BASE is not present, the URI under which the document was retrieved, then the browser shall resolve it within the current copy of the document

It seems to me these are critical to the utility of dynamically generated documents. We do document reviews using a tool that retrieves a designated review version of a document from a version control system and wraps it with a response FORM that includes a BASE specifying the "natural" location of the document. There often is a different version of the document at that location, with changes made subsequent to the review version. The use of BASE is essential to making relative references in the document resolve correctly. However, reading a "fresh copy" of the current document to resolve a stand-alone fragment or a relative reference that resolved to the current document would get the wrong version.

Note that I do not ask that the browser make this restriction with respect to anything but the current document. If the reviewer follows a reference and follows it back to the reviewed document (as opposed to popping up through the browser's stack), I leave that to _caveat lector_.

One other thing occurs to me in reading through the strand - it would be useful to add a REFRESH attribute to the anchor element, to allow the author to tell the browser to make every effort to retrieve a fresh copy. I haven't studied HTTP thoroughly, so I don't know if it's possible to guarantee from the browser end that a fresh copy will actually be returned; this at least gives the author a way to ask.

| > 
| > We need to address this because the two biggest browser vendors have 
| > interpreted this 180 degrees out of synch, and because it affects how all 
| > of us write HTML documents, period.
| Agreed.



scott preece
motorola/mcg urbana design center	1101 e. university, urbana, il   61801
phone:	217-384-8589			  fax:	217-384-8550
internet mail: