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Re: First Class Links Make Second Strike


  If the user does not care which document the link resides in, (that is,
they have no specific permissions or version control reasons to want the link
in A or B explicitly) then the desired behaviour is for the link to act as
if it is first class.  That is, changes to the permissions of A or B do NOT
affect the link, only the ability of some to follow it.  Also, edits of the
link do not affect the versions of A or B and edits/versions of A or B do
not affect the link.

  I think that this will tend to be true for unsophisticated users.  The idea
of a link as a "thread" between two documents is probably their primary concern.
Note that creating a link requires a "save" (bert hop) of the document in which
the link resides.  This may be confusing to early users.

  If links are actually made first class, with their own permissions and
versioning, there can be problems with correct permission control in large
hypertext pools.  An easy scenario is that someone first creates a document with
a set of quote, reference, and priority work links.  If these links are first
class, and created with the same permissions as the source document, then when
the user "publishes" their document by allowing more readers, the links do
not automatically follow.  This is wrong, but it should be a serious problem
for a year or so.  The other option is to create all those first class links
as permissive, but I'm sure there are times when folks don't want them that way.

  I think that in the long run, embedded links are the right answer.  I can see
real reasons to have first-class links early - and even permanently for some
uses.  They are conceptually easier for unsophisticated users.  Since our
early audience is primarily made up of unsophisticants, we should be careful
about adding yet another new concept to the mass of things they need to learn
to use the system.