Citations, quotes, and other thingys

Michael Francis Ledwidge (
Mon, 4 Oct 1993 11:25:37 +1000 (EST)

The recent discussion on the hypertext newgroups (alt.hypertext,
comp.infosys.www) concerning citing Web material attracted my interest since
I am in the process of writing an Honours thesis on authoring facilities
for the Web.
I have been lurking on this mailing list all year and the
discussions that have taken place here have been a considerable source of
material. I am not entirely clear whether or not quoting from mail messages is
considered an invasion of `privacy'. I would guess that forwarding of mail to
other unrelated groups or lists, without prior knowledge, is not appreciated.
If I do decide to quote anyone who from this list I will be mailing them
individually. Please let me know if I am violating some ancient protocol by
On a similar note, the majority of my material is Web-based so I
have an obvious dilema with citing. Jerry Whelan's proposal, NAMEing the start
of paragraphs, may be adopted in time but I have to submit a bibliography in
a month's time! I was thinking of a site+author reference since many of the
Web sites I have accessed have consisted of material authored by a small number
of people.

I have been working on my own Web editing tool, WHype which is based on
the UNIX-ported libraries of the plan9 *from Bell Labs* OS. I hope to have
something stable available soon. The editor has an interface similar
to Rob Pike's sam text editor (used extensively in this department but I
don't know where else!).
I only was only able to get a look at Joe Wang's tkWWW browser/editor
very recently (thanx to Rob McCool of NCSA) but we have taken quite
different approaches to the task. WHype is more of an editor/browser - you
can browse and look at graphics, but it is a dedicated editing application
designed to support existing Web browsers rather than provide navigation help.
With a less technical background (Arts),
I was more interested in making a tool that offered less facilities but
was simpler, and hopefully quicker, to use. I was also trying to encourage
people to contribute original hypertext without having to even be aware of
The main problem with WHype (now that its namesake bug has been fixed :)
is that I do not support all of HTML. I adopted the approach that the
most used features of HTML be supported and the rest ignored. Unfortunately,
this means that documents containing certain markup will lose it when WHyped.
Obviously this problem can be eradicated by `simply' supporting
all of HTML but my question is - should every Web client be so detailed?
I know that the purpose of this list is to discuss the extensions
and expansion of this powerful new communication medium but, nevertheless,
I sometimes wonder if, as the complexity grows, the Web will lose its
appeal to those, like myself, who simply want to use its scope without having
to think about it.
Anyway I would be interested to hear what aspects of HTML people
consider are vital. Personally, I believe that the anchor tag and in-line image
tags are the only ones that are. (Let the mud-slinging commence!). WHype
supports these tags at present:
Headers 1&2, Bulleted Lists,
Anchors(NAME and HREF, although only HREF is modifiable in the program)

I am working on these:
In-line images, all style markup (headers, bold etc...)

In any case, I have to finalise the prototype for submission quite
soon so any glaring omissions pointed out would be appreciated. I am
aware that the glossary tag (<DT><DD>) is fairly widely used (at least at
CERN) but time is marching on.
I hope this all isn't too vague, I'd love some feedback!.

Michael Ledwidge
<A HREF=>.M.</A>