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Re: Why is From: limited?

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  • Roman Czyborra
    ... I agree. ... It is not that simple for me to add such lines to multimedia documents, let alone to documents that I have no write permission on. I don t
    Message 1 of 14 , Apr 1, 1995
      Phill Hallam-Baker writes:

      > Unless a mailto feature was likely to be reliable it should not be
      > implemented. By reliable I mean that the mails should be read.

      I agree.

      > It is a simple enough matter to add a `webmaster' line to the bottom
      > of a document with a Perl script.

      It is not that simple for me to add such lines to multimedia
      documents, let alone to documents that I have no write permission on.
      I don't want to go around amending other people's pages, I want my
      daemon to automatically insert a header.

      > A from line would not be recognised by every browser so most sites
      > would have to also add a webmaster line.

      True. But sending the From wouldn't hurt, either. Chimera already
      lets me see the entire response header. Give it some time and
      browsers will pick it up. They'll interface even more to the
      traditional tools to handle mail and news documents so you can easily
      move around your documents. HTTP has been moving in the direction of
      RFC822/MIME for quite a while.

      > This would then generate confusion since the two would have to
      > match.

      Not necessarily. An authorship defined in the contents should be
      considered the first address to complain to. Only if the real author
      lacks the permissions to change the mirrored copy of his document, the
      From sender should be contacted.

      Chuck Shotton writes:

      > Suppose "bin" owns all WWW documents? Do you think a system admin
      > wants to spend all day forwarding stuff to the appropriate person?

      Wouldn't any sysop who is so misorganized to install the web pages in
      the bin account and generate From headers from it deserve this?

      > I didn't say it might not be a good idea. I said that it couldn't be
      > implemented in an efficient, usable fashion across multiple
      > platforms.

      If the HTTP servers running on Microsoft can provide rev=made links
      they can also provide From headers. If not, then not.

      > HTTP servers ultimately need to sit on databases (object bases), not
      > file systems. When this happens, things like this will be easy to
      > implement.

      And then what header will you use?

      Link: <mailto:timbl@...>; rev="Made"; title="Tim Berners-Lee"

      From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@...>

      Please don't tell me the From is so much harder to implement than the
      Link or more compatible with existing software on the Internet.

      > In the meantime, the value of such protocol candy is minimal when
      > other, better techniques exist in HTML for doing the same thing.

      The HTML tags have to be added manually and that's why so many web
      documents lack authorship information. An automatically inserted
      optional header could help in those cases and may evolve to become the
      preferred tag because it's added automatically like the headers of my
      mail.

      > Extrapolating that all sites must be like your site is faulty
      > logic...

      I didn't presume that, I have only extrapolated that my site isn't the
      only one where HTTP exports files and those files have human owners
      nor the only one where sophisticated applications of RFC822 are in
      use.

      > If it is optional, then it is useless.

      There will be plenty of people to benefit from it. Imagine them
      loading a retrieved document into their mail folder to keep or to
      quote passages from it and comment on them. If the From is there the
      return To will be filled in already. For documents that lack the From
      the user may or may not be able to manually fill in the address.

      > WWW is for anonymous publisher to anonymous reader communication.

      Like news, WWW is a communication from prominent publishers to
      anonymous readers.

      > Please read through the URI/URN standards and the HTML 3.0 standard

      I did. From is not in there yet.

      > you'll find plenty of stuff to sate your appetite for features.

      I am not asking for new features, I am only trying to prevent an old
      and well-established and simple standard from being forgotten.
    • Chuck Shotton
      ... The arrogance (or ignorance) contained in this statement is amazing! Why should an applications level communications protocol like HTTP have ANY impact on
      Message 2 of 14 , Apr 1, 1995
        >Chuck Shotton writes:
        >
        >> Suppose "bin" owns all WWW documents? Do you think a system admin
        >> wants to spend all day forwarding stuff to the appropriate person?
        >
        >Wouldn't any sysop who is so misorganized to install the web pages in
        >the bin account and generate From headers from it deserve this?

        The arrogance (or ignorance) contained in this statement is amazing! Why
        should an applications level communications protocol like HTTP have ANY
        impact on the way I choose to administer ownership of documents on my WWW
        server? You Unix guys keep getting lost in implementation details that are
        hacks and are not cross-platform solutions. Cut it out! Using "user and
        group" info from a specific O/S as a mechanism for identifying authorship
        of WWW documents is about the most fragile, useless way I could think of to
        do this.

        Some sort of database scheme where HTTP entities are tagged with attributes
        like owner, author, expiration date, etc. is the ideal mechanism for
        generating all of these meta headers that don't (properly) come from the
        file system.

        >> I didn't say it might not be a good idea. I said that it couldn't be
        >> implemented in an efficient, usable fashion across multiple
        >> platforms.
        >
        >If the HTTP servers running on Microsoft can provide rev=made links
        >they can also provide From headers. If not, then not.

        Huh?

        >> HTTP servers ultimately need to sit on databases (object bases), not
        >> file systems. When this happens, things like this will be easy to
        >> implement.
        >
        >And then what header will you use?
        >
        > Link: <mailto:timbl@...>; rev="Made"; title="Tim Berners-Lee"
        >
        > From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@...>

        What difference does it make? At that point, you actually have reliable
        information that means what it says, and not some ambiguous or inaccurate
        data pulled out of the file attributes of the document.

        >Please don't tell me the From is so much harder to implement than the
        >Link or more compatible with existing software on the Internet.

        That's not the point. The point is that both are equally hard to implement
        in a reliable, accurate fashion. You cannot ever convince me that using the
        file ownership attributes to determine this info, even if every Web server
        on the planet runs on Unix, will ever be 100% correct. Your premise is
        based on the faulty assumption that Web servers are built to serve files
        out of file systems, and this couldn't be further from the truth. And this
        is only going to become more obvious as WWW software moves from the realm
        of hackers into the realm of real-world programming, where things are
        designed and engineered or they sit on the store shelf and rot. These
        servers will serve exclusively from content residing in databases. File
        system based servers are definitely an endangered species.

        >> In the meantime, the value of such protocol candy is minimal when
        >> other, better techniques exist in HTML for doing the same thing.
        >
        >The HTML tags have to be added manually and that's why so many web
        >documents lack authorship information. An automatically inserted
        >optional header could help in those cases and may evolve to become the
        >preferred tag because it's added automatically like the headers of my
        >mail.

        In existing server implementations, yes, such tags would have to be added
        manually. If it is important to you for people to know you are the author
        of a document, I suggest you add them. For others, they may not want to be
        pestered by reams of e-mail just because they happened to put a document on
        the Web. You are completely overlooking the need for anonymity in your
        blanket implementation.

        >> WWW is for anonymous publisher to anonymous reader communication.
        >
        >Like news, WWW is a communication from prominent publishers to
        >anonymous readers.

        This is your opinion. How often to you bother to check when following links
        around the Web to see if you've wandered off to a different site without
        realizing it? The very nature of the Web encourages seamless integration of
        content. This, more than anything, makes knowing who the publisher is at
        any given time difficult. And some people actually count on this.

        >> Please read through the URI/URN standards and the HTML 3.0 standard
        >
        >I did. From is not in there yet.

        Geez. No, but a way to specify document ownership/authorship is. Did you
        read that part, or did you just grep for "from"?

        >> you'll find plenty of stuff to sate your appetite for features.
        >
        >I am not asking for new features, I am only trying to prevent an old
        >and well-established and simple standard from being forgotten.

        As long as it is implemented your way...

        -----------------------------------------------------------------------
        Chuck Shotton
        cshotton@... http://www.biap.com/
        cshotton@... "I am NOT here."
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