Re: PLink availability/feature requests - two working versions

From: Henry van Eyken (
Date: Fri Apr 13 2001 - 17:49:30 PDT

Joe D Willliams wrote:

> <snip>
> So now it is time for our webmaster to pick 5-8
> elements of current bootstrap web site and start a
> DKR on the bootstrap web site to allow navigation
> within web pages.
> As this develops, code sharing should occur and within
> a month or so we converge to a single encoding of
> this tool.
> <snip>

This webmaster can't do other than talk in non-technical terms. If you can live
with that, here goes:

1. Re DKR on Bootstrap site. I perceive plain, ordinary archiving as the step
before creating a DKR. As I mentioned in a previous post in this thread, "Re
numbering of document elements, consider a web magazine, say .
Besides publishing new issues, it also builds an archive of old articles. If we
were to apply numbering of document elements, it would make sense for the
magazine's production staff to add new articles to the archive first, before
creating the pages for the new issue. In that case, the funny purple numbers in
the new issue as well as in the archive would point into the archive only.

This then should be a next step in e-zine publishing. After that, a further step
would be to update (version) the archives (dkr) and adapt numbering system to
allow for that. This is not the end of progress, though. A person who consulted
article should be able to request of the dkr to apprise him of updates or have
updates automatically entered into his personal store of electronic

Here is what I have done on the Bootstrap site (experimentally). You will find
an archive of "news" items in the Repository found in the section called

Those items were first published on the e-zine's front page under the heading
"First off." See:
Notice that this page permits a rapidly stepping though the news items by
clicking on the first dash above an item's date. Clicking on the second dash
takes you to a previous item. Further notice that the last item flows over into
the Repository. Also notice that statement numbers continue on (for whatever
that's worth - Eugene has altready pointed out in this thread that statement IDs
would be more appropriate), doing so in reverse chronological order. Because the
fact that a new item has been added to the Chronicle "e-zine," the item is
brought to the attention of the site's browsers by placing it in the left
sidebar of the site's home page.

Observe the exessive manual handling: An item is published three times and
indexed three times as well in the contents section of each page. This handling
would be somewhat less in a website that is exclusively an e-zine. The Bootstrap
site has a variety of components, each with its own idiosyncrasies. (I expect
some changes in this, but much depends on the future of the site in terms of
objectives, permanence, funding, staffing. Maybe today's post by Denham Grey has
some useful things in it. Actually, there have been quite a few post in recent
months with worthwhile ideas, but, hey!, I am only one person.)

For me to apply schemes for identifying the elements of a document and link
integrity requires that the application of such a scheme be put in simple,
plain, non-technical language. In fact, one of the aims of this site is to reach
non-technical people on their own linguistic turf.

2. If you turn to Press in the Chronicle section (ref. )
you will see more than 200 statement numbers. If you look at the HTML code of
the page you will find each of these numbers entered three times (the visible
number, a label and a pointer). Imagine my consternation when I was given an
updated ASCII text that did not only have later items, but also older items that
were not yet listed. Texts needed to be compared and all the numbering had to be
redone, by hand. If only that were automated, that would already be a great

3. Having said these things, our priority should be content. And that must
follow from the site's objectives. Which brings me right back to repeating
myself the so-maniest time: clear objectives, funding, permanence, staffing. And
once more, about objectives, Doug's first objective is to get that critical
missing piece in place, the OHS. And in the meantime we should (in my personal
opinion) concentrate on the ultimate objective: "As much as possible, to boost
mankind's collective capability for coping with complex, urgent problems."
Ultimately, these are world-scale problems, many of which were introduced during
the Colloquium at Stanford. It is my belief that the urgency aspect is not one
directly addressed by softwares; it is addressed by such highly capable people
as Maurice Strong, UN Undersecretary-general and Senior Advisor the
Secretary-General, who is steeped in organizing for addressing environmental
issues and neytworks with hundreds of highly capable organizers. That begs the
question how we can eventually get superior softwares properly applied to
address complexity. And would that only be an OHS? This, in turn, brings us back
to a question discussed on this forum way back when about "penetration." Who
must be "sold on DKRs and OHSs? And all this bearing in mind that big problems
loom on a very near horizon - something like one to two decades, say. In other
words, if this site is to become effective, it better become effective fast. And
back to the business of "purple numbers" and coding used for this site (XML,
XHTML, HTML), we have no time to diddle around very much.


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