Re: Link Evolution

From: Murray Altheim (
Date: Fri Apr 13 2001 - 00:59:30 PDT

Eugene Eric Kim wrote:
> On Thu, 12 Apr 2001, Murray Altheim wrote:
> > 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.
> This would be cool. The real difficulty, though, is, what is the mapping
> algorithm?

There would probably be a fairly simple topic map consisting of linking
characteristics: date/time, link stability, authorship, revision system,
etc. This metadata could either be in XTM or RDF and would be managed by
a link revision control system (LRCS), storing the information in a topic map.
Document authors would interact with the LRCS through their editing tools,
so that posting a web page would be an act of checking a document into the
system. This all exists and has already been implemented IN MY HEAD. :-)

> Over the past few months, I've been writing down my thoughts on links and
> link databases. It's not quite ready to put up on my web site -- I still
> have to convert some scribbled notes into prose -- but my section on link
> integrity is more or less complete. I've attached it below as some food
> for thought. I'd love to get some feedback, especially from Roger, as I'm
> sure the Xanadu guys have already worked through many of the issues I
> raise.
[link integrity discussion elided...]

What seems to be necessary is metadata about the links, perhaps from
each end of the link. Over the last few years I've been an active member
of the W3C HTML working group (co-author and DTD editor for XHTML
modularization), and while I'm currently rather dormant from active
participation in the WG, it occurs to me that should we come up with
some ideas that might serve in the capacity you describe, I could
forward these on to the WG, who are now in early discussions on
something called "XHTML 2.0", intended to be a more XML-friendly
or XML neutral version of XHTML. This will include use of XLink, so
far as I know. My current drafts of the XHTML 2.0 DTD do at least.

I'm thinking that we could add the types of metadata to the links
themselves so that wisened tools could manage the links, or work
with topic map engines to do this. Certainly got my head spinning
with ideas, anyway. If we can come up with some specifics, I'll try
to push these into XHTML 2.0 as much as makes sense.


Murray Altheim <mailto:altheim&#x40;>
XML Technology Center
Sun Microsystems, Inc., MS MPK17-102, 1601 Willow Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025

      In the evening
      The rice leaves in the garden
      Rustle in the autumn wind
      That blows through my reed hut. -- Minamoto no Tsunenobu

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Tue Aug 21 2001 - 17:58:04 PDT