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Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Using Wiki Pidgin Languages to Dynamically Create Links for a Read/Write Web 

A Wiki should be able to use a pidgin to create a lazily defined link. For example, a reporting application should be able to convert a user entry of [report: 234] into a link to a report with id 234 or [report-table: 234 T1] to a link to a report table. To do this the Wiki-ish client must parse the delimited text, input by the user, and do a GET on a generated URL. This implies that the Wiki-ish client understands the "report" and "report-table" types. Understanding -- means that it can parse the user input to generated a URL and interpret the HTTP response. It would be nice if there was some way to automatically plug-in a standard way of "understanding a service", however, it will more likely require design time coding in the Wiki-ish client. If the HTTP response indicates that a resource does exist, for the user's input, then the client must know how to create a link or embedding of that resource into the representation of the client page. If the HTTP response indicates that no resource exists, the client needs to be able to generate an appropriate behavior. This could be an error message, or a GET to a service that can return a resource creation representation (i.e. an HTML Form that can be filled out and posted to create a resource). It might also create a link to the resource creation page, where the resource can be created at a later date (Wiki style lazy creation of references). If the user hasn't completely specified what the resource is or there is some ambiguity in the user input, then the client may immediately forward the user to a partially filled out input form, or some other input mechanism for completing and creating a representation. The client, however, may also encode it's best interpretation of the user's input into a lazy link to the resource creation page. This inline representation could then be edited by the user, or clicked through to edit the client supplied information and create the resource.

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