Re: Is this use of BASE kosher?

Paul Burchard (
Sun, 6 Aug 95 22:50:16 EDT

Dan, thanks for laying out an initial formalism. I think it's urgent
to develop a more comprehensive model for the Web, especially in order to
help clarify the conceptual confusion plaguing important emerging features
such as interactivity and statefulness. Your earlier work on Expires and the
current debate on <base> are really just the tips of the conceptual iceberg.

On the specifics, I'm a bit more skeptical. Although your formalism does
adhere to your position on <base>, that's only because you've imposed the
assumption (unnatural in my opinion) that the "addr" map be surjective.
Surjectivity assumptions in a distributed system are often a sign of trouble.

More generally, the careful distinction between the address/resource/entity
aspects of a "Web document" that you developed for Expires has not yet made
it over to the conceptual foundation of "Web links". Do links exist at the
address, resource, or entity level, so to speak? Hopefully all of them.
For interactivity and statefulness, in particular, it will be important
to have linking concepts at the entity level.

I'd like to take up the challenge of working with you toward a better
model, because I see it as an essential precondition to any meaningful
Internet Draft on Web interactivity.

Paul Burchard <>
``I'm still learning how to count backwards from infinity...''