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Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful

Subject: Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful
From: Guy_Murphy@xxxxxxxxxx
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 11:40:53 +0100


It was an overstatement on my part to say that FOs give a company a safe
wall, it would be more correct for me to limit this to a safer buffer.

As for indexing robots, it will make life a lot more difficult to them. I
know that for my company and many others, that the crown jewels are the
category thesauri etc used to manage data. All that is being suggested is
that it might be nicer if these crown jewels weren't set out on the

Yes go to effort and you will be able to break in and steal the jewel, but
your doing so will probably be noticable and traceable.

To frame things here, I am talking about the presentation of many terabytes
of data, not just a few documents.


xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on 04/23/99 08:54:57 AM

To:   xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
cc:    (bcc: Guy Murphy/UK/MAID)
Subject:  Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful

Guy Murphy wrote:
> If the semantics used are not free, then using FOs gives a company a safe
> wall here, a semantic firewall if you like.
Do they?  How?  Or does using FOs not just make it a little extra work to
get at
the semantics?
(As an aside, this is reminiscent of the never-ending question in the
c.i.w.a.html newsgroup, "How do I hide my source?".  And you'll find the
occasional web page with something like
        <!-- Encrypted by Joe's HTML mangler ^&\?+%$@^*()! ... -->
where you have to scroll down 20 screenfulls to see the real source... )
> In many cases, it simply will not be relevent. And the end user will not
> care. All they will care about is what's infront of their eyes.
What if those "eyes" belong to indexing robots or other such programs?
> I mentioned it once before, but it warrants mentioning again within this
> context, that publishing of XML on the Net, along with easy
> making data theft untraceable makes corporate data *very* vulnerable on
> Net to being syphoned off and repackaged. Unless you can provide
> with at least the method of keeping hold safely of they semantic
> organisation and management of data (the things that allow them
> advantage in accruing data), *their data will not go on the Net*.
So use FOs for copyright protection and/or distribution management???
It won't work.  If the data is visible, it's vulnerable (even if your "FO"
a GIF -- to take an extreme example --, it could be OCRed).  All FOs, GIFs,
tags, table cells, etc. are doing is making the data a little harder to get
And making a lot of people mad. :)
If it's only parts of the source document that contain the sensitive data,
could use XSLT (as one option) to deliver transformed but semantically rich
with a linked style sheet -- sans the offending material.
> I would say that the Net *is* balkanized at the moment, in that it isn't
> getting the high quality structured data. I would like to see that
I completely agree.  I just don't see how FOs are "high quality structured


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