Re: [unrev-II] Re: OHS Meeting at SRI on 010122 Demonstrate BrowseUp

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Tue Jan 23 2001 - 18:03:37 PST

  • Next message: Jack Park: "Re: [unrev-II] Re: OHS Meeting at SRI on 010122 Demonstrate Brows eUp"

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for that *excellent*
    verbal rendering. The basic idea seems to be one that
    we discussed quite a while back. Having an intelligent
    proxy on the client opens a lot of doors, and BrowseUp
    appears to have to taken that avenue to the best
    possible conclusion.

    As I recall, "we" (as a group) disliked that notion, at
    the time, because we wanted people to use a "vanilla
    browser", without having to do anything special to the

    I take it that our collective opinion is now more
    in favor of a smarter client?

    How much effort is it to install that proxy, anyway?
    Or is it pretty transparent? (Or does a remote server
    actually serve as the "proxy", so that you have to visit
    that server and, from there, go to other points on the

    (You may not have answers to these, given your short
    exposure to the technology. I ask, just in case.
    And thanks again for a wonderful summary!)

    Jack Park wrote:
    > Here is my take:
    > BrowseUp is, indeed, very innovative and well done. I hesitate to use
    > the
    > word 'innovative' because much of what BrowseUp does has been
    > anticipated in
    > papers by Douglas Engelbart, Ted Nelson, and Francis Heylighen, among
    > others. Nevertheless, as an execution of the many ideas, BrowseUp is
    > really
    > slick.
    > I formulated a model of how it works. Right or wrong, here it is.
    > Imagine that your browser is set to work through a proxy server, a
    > tiny
    > local server that, itself, does the web connection for the browser.
    > WBI,
    > IBM's transcoding engine, is one such server. Because your browser
    > does not
    > directly interact with the web, the proxy server has the opportunity
    > to look
    > at the URL you have requested and feed that URL to another web
    > connection,
    > which happens to be BrowseUp's link server. The link server can
    > download
    > what it knows about the selected URL while the selected URL, itself,
    > is
    > coming in on another http connection. Now, two bodies of html
    > information
    > are available in the proxy server. Before the server sends that to
    > the
    > requesting browser, it can perform whatever computation it likes.
    > BrowseUp
    > appears to add a tiny bit of html to the page before being displayed.
    > That
    > added html forms an href link such that, should you click on it, you
    > now go
    > directly (through the proxy server, of course) to some URL inside the
    > link
    > server, where another window opens complete with all links others have
    > established with the link you just clicked on. Got that?
    > There's more. Suppose the proxy server could open a tiny dialog of
    > its own
    > such that you can reach up into your browser image and grab something
    > and
    > drag it into the new dialog. That establishes a target. Now, go to
    > some
    > other web page and click on something and, presto, or words to that
    > effect,
    > the proxy server opens a nifty display of some linkages you are about
    > to
    > make. Both directions are linked, but you can 'uncheck' a box at
    > either to
    > break a link. Meanwhile, you can annotate the link(s), complete with
    > search
    > words and so forth. Got that?
    > So, now, you have imagined a really nifty kind of engine that gets
    > awfully
    > close to a transclusion engine as described by Ted Nelson. The only
    > difference is that BrowseUp does not 'transclude' (meaning, actually
    > insert
    > the referenced material into the page being displayed). Rather, it
    > gives
    > you the equivalent of a menu to select those links you might want to
    > browse.
    > Now, that's powerful, in my extremely humble opinion. So powerful,
    > however,
    > that I raise a couple of personal opinions (hip shots!) for further
    > discussion. Note, these opinions actually apply to just about any NIC
    > one
    > might build.
    > I am talking to the so-called 'web of trust' concept advanced by Tim
    > Berners-Lee in his Semantic Web initiative. We all need to trust each
    > other
    > to 'do the right thing' (whatever that is). And, BrowseUp opens
    > pandora's
    > proverbial box to all sorts of not-so-right things one could do.
    > Imagine,
    > for instance, someone linking your home page heading to, say, a really
    > grotesque gif or jpg.
    > Here, I am thinking that it may be that establishing links ought to be
    > a
    > priviliged operation. Only those who are authenticated and have
    > permission
    > to do so should, perhaps, be allowed to do so. I am thinking that if
    > everyone on earth had the ability to slam links onto whatever they
    > want,
    > there would be hell to pay.
    > But, I am not saying that BrowseUp, or even it's eventual clones,
    > whatever,
    > is without merit. On corporate intranets, you already (theoretically
    > speaking) have a web of trust. On networked improvement communities
    > (NICs),
    > the opportunity, if not requirement, exists to authenticate those who
    > participate. No, I'm not talking about private exclusive NICs;
    > anybody can
    > join, but they must be authentic, and tracable, because the links can
    > be
    > traced, through logs, to individuals, and that's probably the way
    > things
    > should be.
    > Moving away from the web of trust thing, consider legal implications.
    > What
    > are the laws regarding linking (especially, willy-nilly linking). It
    > is my
    > understanding that eBay got an injunction against a dotCom that was
    > either
    > linking or transcluding auction information at the dotCom's web site.
    > I
    > recall (maybe with imperfect memory) phrases like 'deep linking'
    > (Google got
    > 224,000 hits on that one). In fact, the second hit was this:
    > which just happens to deal with the notion of deep linking. Here is a
    > quote
    > from the article cited at the deepLinking url just cited:
    > "Legal experts did comment, however, saying the legal landscape
    > surrounding
    > deep linking, or hyperlinking deep into another's Web page, is fraught
    > with
    > unpaved ways."
    > There you have it. Due Dilligence, here, would suggest that, before
    > any NIC
    > goes live, particularly one that permits linking around the web, some
    > deep
    > research ought to be done on issues such as those raised here.
    > Well, that's my 0.02 EURs for the day.
    > Jack
    > From: Rod Welch <>
    > > Adam,
    > >
    > > Here is a summary of meeting yesterday that indicates BrowseUp can
    > accomplish a
    > > lot of Doug's goals for Hyperscope and improving collaboration.....
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Feedback from other attendees can expand and clarify these
    > understandings.
    > >
    > > Rod
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Jan 23 2001 - 18:33:04 PST