>Ah... this touches a nerve. There are a _lot_ of applications of
>this sort in action today:
> * hypermail takes RFC822 messages and adds links, and reformats
> Problem: what if I want the original RFC822 message? (why? because
> it's digitally signed, or for other reasons of authenticity) I can't
> get it through most hypermail archives today.
But the purpose of Hypermail and similar software (which I've written --
see <URL:http://asearch.mccmedia.com/>) is for third parties to archive
e-mail lists. They *shouldn't* preserve the digital signature if they mess
with the document, since a signature should only apply to the original
document as the writer created it.
> * Folks take a plain-text FAQ, or an interesting article, or whatever,
> and they "htmlize" it. Sometimes they put a link to their home page,
> or to the server's home page or whatever.
>The point is: I would like to have some "audit trail" for such annotations.
>I would like to be able to check the HTML version against the original, maybe,
>or recover the original for any number of purposes.
Ah, well, I've implemented something that almost does this. Because my
Hypermail-like software sometimes messes up formatting and such, I include
in each message a link to the original, untouched message. Actually, in
the current implementation, the body is untouched -- I still mess with the
headers, since they're unambiguous, or should be. But obviously, a link to
the original, as part of the annotation process, is essential in some
I think you're basically proposing that the link to the original be
standardized so that it can become a browser feature, which may have some
merit in a full-on annotation scheme.