John C. Mallery <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 1994 22:48:22 +0200
Message-id: <19940610204646.8.JCMA@JEFFERSON.AI.MIT.EDU>
Precedence: bulk
From: John C. Mallery <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Re: WIT
X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
    Date: Fri, 10 Jun 1994 12:37 EDT
    From: (HALLAM-BAKER Phillip)

    I think we need to try to focus on what the exact nature of the
    problems of WIT are and generaly try to get a bit more constructive.
    I don't think that anyone has suggested that it is perfect. Until
    you have something to play with it is difficult to know what you want.

Right on the money.  Rome wasn't built in day.

    The first stage then is we should play with it.

Exactly, and make constructive suggestions for improvements.

    I had a go at an email hypertexter and gateway. Also properly hypertexting
    news. Both are a big win in themselves but what is still missing is a
    framework for discussion.

Can these be interfaced to WIT so that people can comment on WWW-talk and

    It is quite easy to imagine a set of conventions that could interface
    mail and news to WIT. In fact they are the same thing if you think about 
    it. News is simply an email with 20 million recipients, most of whome will
    file it as junk and delete unread.

The main difference is the propagation pattern.

There remains the issue of maintaining copies of messages.  With WWW, one
could progate URLs (URNs) and headers via NNTP, and users/sites could resolve
and cache them, according to the relevance for their site.

    How about:-

    1) Something to do with the recipient...

Track conversations by senders and recipients.

    2) Something to do with the subject line...

Track conversations by heuristic subject line matching.

    3) Something to do with embedding anchors in text...

Identify embedded email addresses and URLs in the body.

Look for message IDs, in-reply-to headers and try to thread together.

Support keywords and maintain an index via keywords.

Provide a WAIS interface to the message archive.

Get some statistics hackers to match messages based on word frequency

    A gateway could easily file this under the WWW-TALK WIT discussion group.
    area. The topic would be WIT, it has a hypertext link to Tony's email.

Sounds good.

    What we need is a convention for typing that link as an "agree" or a 
    "disagree" link. It would be easy enoug to modify the mail/news system to
    give this capability. Instead of "reply to" or "post" we have a disagree 
    and agree buttons producing the lines:-

    Disagree <> 
    Agree <>

What about as links header which is a sequence of link-type, [message-id or url]?

    These could be picked up. Alternatively we could add in a <DISAGREE> 
    psuedo tag...

This might be helpful for people who can't hack their message headers.

Shouldn't a message header give the content-type of the message? e.g. text/html?

Can your interface handle MIME multipart messages?

WRT to NNTP as a transport, would it make sense to have an HTML/WWW hierarchy
where all the postings are marked up in html?