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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] bootstrap list message content & purple numbers

On Mon, 2001-12-17 at 01:13, Eugene Eric Kim wrote:
> On Fri, 14 Dec 2001, Peter  Jones wrote:
> > The posts that Jack Park and others make that are forwarded from other lists
> > tend to appear as quoted excerpts with perhaps a small comment from the
> > forwarder. However, the bulk of any following discussion might often revolve
> > around quoting from the forwarded message (which tends to appear as quoted).
> Okay, so perhaps this is justification to refine the algorithm for adding
> purple numbers to quoted text.  The question then is, what's the right way
> to do this?  The simplest thing to do would be to do what you suggested,
> which was to exclude ">" when processing.  But, is that really the "right"
> way to do it from an OHS context?
> >From an OHS context, quoted text is, or should be, a transclusion.  So the
> purple numbers in the quoted text should be the purple numbers from the
> original text.
> The problem is, purple numbers are only unique within the context of the
> current document.  IDs are reused all the time.  For example, all of the
> e-mails archived from this list have an NID of "01".  So if you
> transcluded the first paragraph of any e-mail, you would have ID-clash.
> No problem.  Just make purple numbers unique across the entire site as
> opposed to individual documents, right?  Well, sure, that would solve the
> problem.  But it would also introduce a new usability problem.  Do you
> really want to have visible purple numbers that read like "0245-af842-12"
> after every node?  This raises a more general, philosophical question: How
> human readable should node IDs be?    (01)

As I see it, and as is reflected in NODAL, there are a number of levels
of node labelling that enter into this:    (02)

1) Structural IDs are always document-specific, since they refer to the
   structure and hierarchy of a particular document.    (03)

2) Node IDs must be unique.  If nodes can be reused (either directly or
   via transclusion), then they must be translatable to some globally
   unique ID, probably in the form of a URL.  An example would be the
   query URL of a NODAL node which would be something like:
	"http://leeiverson.com?nid(N1342)"    (04)

3) Node names can be document-specific.  These are much like the
   ID/IDREF pairs in XML documents but the namespace is specific to a
   certain document and unique only within that document.    (05)

All of these ID types translate to URLs and are ways of naming a node or
location in a document (e.g. a query URL "foo?id" names a node and a
fragment URL "foo#id" names a location).    (06)

How does this impact the purple number questions?  Well, without a real
OHS in which it makes sense to have unique node IDs within a repository,
the purple numbers should reflect the 1) and 3) forms, both of which
have only document-specific uniqueness requirements.  The important
point is that the whole URL has to be used to identify a particular
document location.  Now, of course within a single site that need be
only a relative URL (e.g. "msg0001.html#N01" instead of
"http://eekim.com/msg0001.html#N01";), but still a URL and not just an
ID.  In short, as long as a purple number resolves to a full URL (which
can be optionally relativized) then the only potential problem is the
length of the IDs.    (07)

> This is not some imaginary problem; the BA web site is faced with it right
> now.  We want to build a news system, where the news can appear on any
> number of pages -- the home page, a news archive page, sites syndicating
> BA news, etc.  All news items should have purple numbers.  The question
> is, should those purple numbers be immutable?  In other words, should a
> news item always have the same purple numbers attached to it irregardless
> of the context, or is it acceptable for the purple numbers of the news
> item to vary depending on the page from which it is viewed?    (08)

My answer would therefore suggest that the purple numbers should appear
as document-specific (and thus view-specific forms) but that they should
usually resolve to a source URL.  Thus the visible purple number should 
be unique to the news page, but reference the original source document
via a more complete URL. How this would appear iconically may be a bit
interesting...  We've already got two potential purple numbers in the
node ID and structural ID.  I'd suggest a third, optional tag which
holds a reference to the "transcluded" source.  So, pulling a reference
from a purple number creates a context-dependent URL, but if that object
is itself a transclusion, we have its reference too.  Working out the
HTML expression of this in anchor nodes might be a bit interesting...    (09)

Lee Iverson                    
leei@telus.net                 #105-2700 Acadia Rd., Vancouver B.C. V6T
http://www.ai.sri.com/~leei/   (604) 222-9312    (010)