Re: The value of navigability (related to META...)

Gavin Nicol (
Mon, 6 Jun 1994 12:31:36 +0500

>The implication for HTML/HTTP is that features that improve document
>navigability are paramount. It's very tempting to follow the old
>publishing paradigm and focus first on rich formatting and such, that would
>be wrong and some other technology will surpass the Web quickly.

To a certain degree, I agree with you here.

>There will be great pressure from the publishing industry, where I come
>from, to focus primarily on the richness of the markup of individual
>documents. For the most part, those people should be ignored! They don't

Define markup, and I'll decide whether to agree or not.

One of the reasons why I have been asking for arbitrary SGML, and
arbitrary stylesheets is to aid navigation. An SGML document is (or
should be) basically a tree. One can use such structure for
sub-document navigtion, which might be important for very large
documents. The thing with stylesheets is perhaps not so much for
navigation, but with a generic stylesheet mechanism, parts of a
document can be formatted to best help people understand the
information. Such formatting might include removing large parts of
irrelevant data (for example, if you had a play, you might remove
everything *except* the names of the speakers, and when you clicked on
the speaker name, a box containing the speakers lines might appear).
This might seem like formatting, but it *is* related to navigation and
understanding via visual, and perhaps aural clues.

I agree that net navigation is important. I also believe sub-document
navigation is important. Let's try to support both.


No, I do not speak for EBT.