Subject: Re: LISP and AI
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/05/04
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Russell Wallace <>
| I'm curious: what do you see as the navigation problem to which HTML
| missed the solution?

  The ability of one document to introduce a link between two other
  documents, sometimes known as a "meta-link".  Where implemented,
  they are easily used to track how you arrived at a given document,
  and thus you can browse your "journey" through a number of
  documents.  This particular "application" can be implemented by many
  other means, but the general facility that would make it simple and
  easy is missing from HTML.

  I think of HTML links as GOTO.  The effort required to keep from
  getting messy outweights the merits of their proper use.

  (The even-more-impenetrable-than-the-SGML-standard SGML-related
  standard on Hypertext and Time¹, actually got this completely right,
  incorporating all available hypertext research at the time it was
  published, and subsequently updated intelligently to account for
  further development.  Unfortunately, it uses SGML for its own
  meta-notation, which makes it an order of magnitude more complex
  than necessary, and it relies so heavily on the entity structure,
  which is the least understood aspect of SGML and also completely
  missed by "the HTML generation", that it takes more effort to study
  it than even most would-be experts can ever hope to be rewarded for
  having done.)

¹ ISO/IEC 10744:1997 Information technology -- Hypermedia/Time-based
  Structuring Language (HyTime), 468 pages.