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RE: XLINK support in browsers

  • To: <xml-dev@l...>
  • Subject: RE: XLINK support in browsers
  • From: Ben Trafford <ben@p...>
  • Date: Sun, 03 Apr 2005 13:48:33 -0400
  • In-reply-to: <200504021725.j32HPwBe030509@n...>
  • References: <424E0A6D.3070904@m...><200504021725.j32HPwBe030509@n...>

RE:  XLINK support in browsers

At 01:06 PM 4/2/2005, Michael Kay wrote:
>If XLink isn't in the user interface space then I don't know what it's 
>doing: I don't want standard attributes for defining relationships, I want 
>to define my own.
>I think XLink has never really decided whether it's in the "information 
>content" space or the "user interface" space, and that's why no-one is 
>using it.

         Michael, you bring this same tired argument up over and over every 
time XLink is mentioned. Without getting into old W3C politics that 
effectively castrated XLink's ability to separate the behavior from the 
content, let me ask you this:

         How would you define a link within an XML document? No external 
schemas. No stylesheets. You're an author, who has zero control over 
presentation, beyond using tags. In much the same way you might use an 
<emphasis> tag to emphasize a given word, you want something so that you 
can indicate that -this text here- is linked to -this text in that document 
over there-. They have an implicit, unidirectional relationship. -This- can 
take you to -that-.

         And remember! You're an author who has no say over how his links 
are presented. The stylesheet is not within your control. There are no 
external schemas to define your links. You just need some akin to <a href="">.

         How do you model it, without crossing the line between information 
content and user interface? How do you get "your own attributes for 
defining relationships" if you don't have control over your schema?

         I ask this because most document authors will lack the requisite 
skill (and nor should they be forced to have it) or the requisite control 
(because they're in a bureaucratic organization) to control the mechanisms 
you so blithely reference. And if an XML linking specification is going to 
get traction, it needs to be powerful but easy to use and implement. While 
I'm no fan of XLink as it stands, I've yet to see anything much better.



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