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Embedded and First Class Links, Temporary Truce
- To: <marcs>
- Subject: Embedded and First Class Links, Temporary Truce
- From: Eric Dean Tribble <tribble>
- Date: Wed, 18 Oct 89 16:12:50 PDT
- Cc: <xanatech>
- In-reply-to: <Marc>,08 PDT <8910181927.AA04539@xanadu>
Do we agree that:
1) Text attribute links must be embedded;
2) User-traversed links should sometimes have first-class status,
in that they should have their own set of permissions, their
own version control, and their own author. The implementation
of this could be an empty document that does nothing but contain
the link, built by frontends without modifying the doc & links
It's possible. So are lots of other things. Got a good example?
3) Embedding a link in a document has consequences such that
we cannot randomly assign the links to documents. If the links
are embedded, we must give the user visual representations of
where they are embedded, and tools for selecting the embedment,
and explanation of how and why he should or should not embed.
no. I expect that our link types will have a conventional place in
which to put the link. I think it will make a difference to the user
only in very rare circumstances.
4) It is possible to build a system good enough to be wonderful
with only first-class links.
NO. We invented embedded links because first class links broke in so
many unpredicatable and surprising ways. I can easily imagine not
wanting to use such a system because it would continually do the wrong
If we agree on these things, I derive that we ought to have only
first-class links for user-traversal in the first product. Anyone
who doesn't see the derivation, please see me.
NO NO NO! When I edit a comment document, I want the link to version
with comment document!
Before deducing the above summation, I wrote a much lengthier
tract refuting various points made by various people, more or
less leading to a conclusion that first class links are the right
answer now and always.
I of course disagree, and the argument is quite relevant now while the
Docs&Links layer is being designed. Let's see it! (step inside :-)