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Subject: Re: The BASE element dilemma
From: [log in to unmask]
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Tue, 15 Aug 95 12:42:57 EDT

text/plain (60 lines)

Ka-Ping Yee <[log in to unmask]> wrote on Tue, 15 Aug 95 11:33:04 EDT:
>The two functions of the BASE element under debate are:
>    1.  specification of a URL by which the original document may be
>        retrieved, as the "preferred" URL for references to the document
>    2.  specification of the "path" from which relative URLs in the
>        document are to be resolved
>My suggestion is that BASE be REQUIRED to perform function #1 while,
>if necessary, a new method be introduced to perform function #2.
>Information and support for this suggestion follows.
>Having previously believed that #1 was the fundamental purpose of BASE
>(and that #2 was merely an implication), but upon discovering a variety
>of differing opinions, i decided to collect some empirical data.


I'm going to review your well-researched document during lunch in more
detail and digest it properly (pun intended), but I thought I'd remark that
according to the HTML draft going back as far as I can remember, the stated
intention of BASE is actually #2, not #1:

>Base Address: BASE
>The optional BASE element provides a base address for interpreting
>relative URLs when the document is read out of context (see section
>Hyperlinks). The value of the HREF attribute must be an absolute URI. [1]

This tends to imply #1 given a documented #2, not vice versa. My preference
would be the opposite of yours: the element referring to the base URI of a
resource (as referent for relative link resolution) should be wrapped in a
term semantically akin to "base URI", ie., BASE. I would recommend another
tag be used for bookmarks or published references to a "preferred" version
of the document, since this URI _may not necessarily be_ the base URI of
the document. I have suggested META, others have suggested LINK; regardless
of outcome, I believe we should keep BASE and the base URI in the same
element. If we do decide to separate out a current function from BASE, the
result shouldn't be contrary to the element name.

>base URI
>    an absolute URI used in combination with a relative URI to
>    determine another absolute URI. [2]



      Murray M. Altheim, Information Systems Analyst
      National Technology Transfer Center, Wheeling, West Virginia
      email: [log in to unmask]

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