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From Donald Ball <>
Subject Re: [C2] Fw: actions
Date Tue, 23 Jan 2001 07:29:20 GMT
On Tue, 23 Jan 2001, Allan Erskine wrote:

> But given that a sitemap author may conceivably want to match/select/act on
> any state from authentication to session state, from application to database
> state to the state of the last action executed, wouldn't an explicit unified
> notion of state in the sitemap be helpul?
> And while this newbie is in the game of bandying lofty ideas around (or
> lofting bandy ideas maybe), what if any aspect of a declared state could be
> accessed on the fly as SAX events?  Then matching on anything from browser
> type to whatever could be done with an XPath matcher, thus making Bob our
> collective uncle...surely...
> If someone can tell me why I'm being daft, I'll don my pinny and write some
> docs for you all...

i had this thought back in the early days of the sitemap, when this was
all wishful thinking and nary a line of code had been written. stefano
argued against it, but i'm still not sure i agree with his argument. my
thinking was that you could interpret request-time state as a virtual XML
document, and you could allow sitemap authors to write match patterns
using XPath expressions.

i think his argument was thus:

1. the cost of creating the virtual XML object was prohibitive
2. the cost of interpreting XPath expressions was also prohibitive
3. sitemap authors wouldn't be programmers (the infamous girlfriend test)
and they should have programmers write matchers for them rather than do it
themselves using complex XPath expressions
4. that i was trying to use the XPath hammer to pound the sitemap screw

(this is, naturally, a one-sided remembrance - i'm sure others will
correct me if i put words in stefano's mouth)

personally, i'd be delighted to see someone try to implement this sort of
thing and see how well it works. i think one could hook it onto the
current c2 sitemap engine without having to affect the engine core. not
that i've the time, mind you...

- donald

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