Re: RFC: Multi-Owner Maintenance robot (MOMspider)

Dave_Raggett (
Tue, 7 Dec 93 17:53:39 GMT

> I believe that owner/author privacy will become an important issue
> as large-scale information resources are added to the Web. Therefore,
> I prefer to use a level of indirection such that the owner's alias name
> can be used (by MOMspider or other scripts) to look-up the real owner's
> e-mail address(es) and perform actions tailored to that owner. For instance,
> a {htbin-post | cgi-bin}/mail_owner script could be written which examines
> a table of author aliases at that site and determines both whether or not the
> owner wants to receive e-mail and what the true e-mail address is.

> This also provides a simple mechanism for a single real owner to be
> represented by multiple aliases. For instance, this would be useful for
> webmasters who are responsible for multiple, semi-independent webs.
> It also makes it easier for ownership to change hands.

I see the elements in the document head being used by the HTTP server
to generate HTTP headers. This way you can have a general purpose interface
for agents like MOMspider which also works for non-HTML formats like GIF
or plain text.

How about the following for the HTML+ document HEAD:

<!-- this element may often be implied by HTTP header info -->
created CDATA #IMPLIED -- RFC 850 Date format --
expires CDATA #IMPLIED -- RFC 850 Date format -->

owner CDATA #IMPLIED -- name of owner --
contact CDATA #IMPLIED -- email address as URL -->

These two elements wouldn't cause any problems for existing browsers.
The OWNER element can have either the owner or contact attributes or both.
Sometimes it might be nice to specify the owner by a hypertext link to a
page giving an autobiography, affiliation, contact details etc. The owner
attribute is as you suggest and can be used as an indirection to look up
the real owner's e-mail address by programs privy to that information.
An alternative to OWNER is two new relationship types for LINK. The OWNER
element seems marginally cleaner.

Dave Raggett