Re: ISO Standards Online

From: Edward Cherlin (
Date: Sun Mar 03 1996 - 16:01:39 EST

Markus Kuhn <> wrote:
>Kenneth Whistler wrote:
>> Of course, like nearly every online document project, this raises
>> some questions:
>> C. If this online repository is implemented as a Web repository, I
>> presume it will be posted in HTML and that pages will start
>> consisting of cross-linked hypertext. How do I know that I have
>> reached the end of any particular document or standard once the
>> cross-links start going up?
>This is simply achieved by introducing a URL naming convention. As
>long as the URL has the form
>you know that you are inside ISO 11544:1993 and not in any other
This question has two parts. Markus answered one, how to tell if you are in
the Web document you started in. The other is how to tell whether you have
found all the pages of the standard you are reading. Several clues can be
provided. The following is part of a design I am using for a forthcoming
set of pages at NewbieNet.

Although the pages of a document may need to be heavily cross-linked, they
can be designed in an outline order (i.e., a simple tree, without cycles),
and that order is used as the table of contents. Standards are always
written this way anyway.

A link to the ToC should be available from every page of the standard.
Browsers mark every recently followed link, so a glance at the ToC will
normally show what has and has not been read.

The pages should be named systematically, perhaps in simple numerical
order,so that either a human user or a script can easily go to them in
order. Following the example above, pages could be named
ISO-11544-1993-0001.html etc. It is highly desirable not to mess with the
order of pages in a standard, so errata requiring separate pages would have
to be numbered after existing pages if numerical order is used.

There should be links on each page to the next and previous pages in ToC
order, again allowing systematic manual or automatic sequencing of all

An index and site search engine are also valuable for navigation.

In any case there is Web crawling software that can find all pages
depending on any starting page, and presumably it is possible to restrict
the search to pages following a certain naming convention, or only those in
a specific subdirectory tree. Perhaps someone should offer such a service

Perhaps there should be a standard for formatting ISO standards online? If
so, the above suggestions are made freely available for use in such a

Edward Cherlin Helping Newbies to become "knowbies" Point Top 5%
Vice President of Web sites
NewbieNet, Inc. Everything should be made as simple as possible,
(916) 938-4684 __but no simpler__. Albert Einstein

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