Link Evolution

From: Murray Altheim (
Date: Thu Apr 12 2001 - 17:36:42 PDT

[Was: PLink availability/feature requests]

Henry van Eyken wrote:
> Jack.
> You pointed out a serious problem with the way things stand right now. Revising
> our HTML pages may mean attaching a different statement number to a given
> paragraph while keeping the URL the same. Ref. the home page, statement no. 2G:
> < >
> The site's desired functioning and consequential architecture are still severely
> handicapped by the prevailence of a public networking methodology that does not
> yet permit the full implementation of Engelbart's individual and collaborative
> authoring of documents. The "funny purple numbers"*, quite aside from their
> immediate utility in identifying any document's elements, also serve notice that
> this format is but a step toward a progressive use of a superior mode of
> authoring and publishing. In the spirit of Engelbart's lifelong mode of working
> ever so fruitfully, keywords here remain experiential and evolutionary.

One of the things that I've been thinking about that might avoid this
problem would be to keep a site map topic map that would act as a sort
of online revision control system. As documents are checked in as
replacements for older revisions, a link mapper would create a topic
map that mapped the old links to the new. URLs to a previous version
would be handled by a server preprocessor that would provide the updated
link from the topic map.

Just an idea, anyway. This was why I thought to put in a <meta> element
containing plink's document generation date. I'd hate to try to build into
my little link tool the ability to map between versions. That sounds like
a job for a topic map, not a DOM hack.

Murray Altheim, SGML/XML Grease Monkey <mailto:altheim&#64;>
XML Technology Center
Sun Microsystems, 1601 Willow Rd., MS UMPK17-102, Menlo Park, CA 94025

      the wood louse sits on a splinter and sings to the rising sap
      ain't it awful how winter lingers in springtimes lap -- archy

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