Squeaking the Web

Ranjan Bagchi ranjan.bagchi at pobox.com
Wed Aug 5 16:13:39 UTC 1998

[Totally off topic]

Let's not forget that interpretations for URL's is up to the web server: 
 If a more intelligent naming scheme is desired the server's free to 
implement it.  What we're talking about [in the human-readable sense] is 
the naive default implementation that most servers put in and relies upon a 
file system.

I'm doing server-side java stuff professionally and one of the cool things 
about servlets is that they can apply some knowledge about how to interpret 
URLs to deliver the right pages.  URL's like 
http://foo.com/servlet/SmartServlet/SomethingUseful can be totally 
context-dependent on what pages are served up.


-----Original Message-----
From:	Mark Guzdial [SMTP:guzdial at cc.gatech.edu]
Sent:	Wednesday, August 05, 1998 7:28 AM
To:	squeak at cs.uiuc.edu
Subject:	Re: Squeaking the Web

>Lex Spoon writes:
> >
> >     2) Links are so easily broken.  Maybe *all* links should go
> > through a level of indirection on a stable server?  Do links *really*
> > need to be all that human readable?
> >
>Actually, this was the origional idea.  URLs were a quick hack until
>URNs worked.  URNs were going to work a bit like DNS does with a
>distributed database so you would not have broken links and give you
>that extra level of indirection.  Hmm, this was '94 or so :-)

On the other hand, I've read some analysis (armchair quarterbacks, I admit
:-) that suggest that the Web succeeded where previous hypertext efforts
failed (e.g., Intermedia, Xanadu) explicitly because URL's were
one-direction only.  All previous efforts made sure that links couldn't
break, and this analysis claims that that extra bit of engineering is what
pushed the system over the edge to overly-large and less-adoptable.


Mark Guzdial : Georgia Tech : College of Computing : Atlanta, GA 30332-0280
(404) 894-5618 : Fax (404) 894-0673 : guzdial at cc.gatech.edu

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