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Proposal to 822-ext draft for referencing

1991-11-28 12:00:28

Here's my proposal that I sent to Nathaniel. I think this
feature is very simple and very much needed in a multimedia
mail standard as a basic feature just to have a sensible way
of writing (cover) letters that unambiquosly can explain and
point to the various parts of the message. A minimal implementation
would just grab the message-ID string the user points at and
uses it as an argument for searching. It's no more complex than
the already widely used References: or In-Reply-To: headers but
gives the multipart mess(ages) a possibility for clear structure.

Rather than just adding message-ID strings inside a text message for
manual cut/paste I'd like to have it the basic richtext (and even
leave many other things out before it) format to make it possible to
create nicelooking and general user interfaces. Real hyper text
documents will no doubt appear later but they will be much more
complex and possibly harder to use for referencing other parts of
RFC-XXXX messages it might be in.  A good hypertext standard would
even supercede all the RFC-XXXX functionality but I don't think it's
a realistic short term goal which we can pursue on every platform as
soon as RFC-XXXX.


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Subject: Proposal to 822-ext draft for referencing
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 91 18:01:38 +0200
From: Harri(_dot_)Salminen(_at_)funet(_dot_)fi

As I promised in Santa Fe here's my simple proposal for
an valuable addition to richtext which should make richtext ideal
cover letter or even standard description format for multimedia
messages. The following could be added after the
Excerpt keyword or other suitable place:

reference id="message-ID" -- causes the subsequent text to be
interpreted as a reference to some other part of the message or
another message that has been identified with the message-ID given as
a parameter.  The text should be emphasized in an unambiguous fashion
like a shaded button or plain text [ref xyz]. When user selects a
particular reference the user interface should try to find the the
referenced item for the user. If the referenced item can't be found
user could have the possibility either widen the search to cover
possible message archives before giving up. (Since the referenced body
part could be of type application reference this feature gives very
good start for all kinds of hypermedia messages and not just nicely
structured cover letters).


The ending command is of course just </reference>.

I'll mail my thoughts on the Application content type separately
as I don't want them to be mixed with this proposal. Should I have
sent this also to the list? The draft says just you... Please acknowledge.


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