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Re: Internet Draft

Dan Fabulich wrote:
> Has there been any progress in the Transclusion Internet Draft?  What's
> being done to make transclusion on the Internet a reality?  What can I do
> to help?

Actually, it appears that the World Wide Web Consortium has taken the issue on
board and included two mechanisms for text transclusion in the new HTML 4.0
working draft (previously codenamed "Cougar").  See http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/

Method 1:
The <OBJECT> tag.  From the HTML 4.0 working draft:

> Including HTML in another HTML document 
> ---------------------------------------
> Sometimes, rather than linking to another document, it is helpful to include
> the contents of an HTML document in another HTML document. We recommend using
> the OBJECT element with the data attribute for this purpose. 
> For instance, the following line will include the contents of
> piece_to_include.html at the location where the OBJECT definition occurs. 
> ...text before...
> <OBJECT data="file_to_include.html">
> Warning: file_to_include.html could not be included.
> ...text after...
> The contents of OBJECT must only be rendered if the file specified by the
> data attribute cannot be loaded. 
> The behavior of a user agent in cases where a file includes itself is not
> defined. 
> Careful file inclusions. Be careful if you attempt to include a section of an
> HTML document defined by an anchor. The entire document after the anchor
> definition will be included, and you might unwittingly include unwanted end
> tags (for elements such as BODY, HTML, etc.) in your document.
> The IFRAME element may also be used to insert an inline frame containing text
> in an HTML document. 

This leads us to Method 2, based on the <IFRAME> Netscape extension tag
introduced in Netscape Communicator 4.0:

> The IFRAME element allows authors to insert a frame within a block of text.
> Inserting an inline frame within a section of text is much like inserting an
> object via the OBJECT element: they both allow you to insert an HTML document
> in the middle of another, they may both be aligned with surrounding text,
> etc. 
> The information to be inserted inline is designated by the src attribute of
> this element. The contents of the IFRAME element, on the other hand, should
> only be rendered by user agents that do not support frames or are configured
> not to display frames. 
> For user agents that support frames, the following example will place an
> inline frame surrounded by a border in the middle of the text. 
>   <IFRAME src="foo.html" width="400" height="500"
>              scrolling="auto" frameborder="1">
>   [Your user agent does not support frames or is currently configured
>   not to display frames. Click to retrieve
>   <A href="foo.html">the related document.</A>]
>   </IFRAME>
> Inline frames may not be resized (and thus, they do not take the noresize
> attribute). 
> Note: HTML documents may also be embedded in other HTML documents with the
> OBJECT element. See the section on including files in HTML documents for
> details. 

Microsoft has announced that HTML 4.0 will be supported starting with
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 Preview 2, available this month, and
Netscape has announced support in a future release of Communicator.

I note also that the HTML 4.0 working draft finally adds support for
bi-directional and external links!
See http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-html40/struct/links.html

Share and enjoy,
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