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Re: Is XLink Dead? Apparently Not


xlink dead
Len,

XLink is pretty aggressively used by XBRL (extensible business reporting
language - http://www.xbrl.org/ ).  That was exactly a case of "polite
inclusion".  XBRL uses simple links associate XML schemas (as in W3C
schemas) with 3rd party linkbases that provide extensive explanations of
how the contents of the various elements declared in the WSD Schemas
should be interpreted.

This decision was not taken lightly and certainly resulted in a range of
early difficulties as software developers grappled with the patchy
support of XLink and XPointer. 

For example, I am working on an XBRL API implementation in Java at the
moment and found it necessary to create an XLink processor from scratch.
That processor was written to recognise XLink elements and pass control
over from a SAX handler to an XLink handler for additional processing.
See http://www.xbrlapi.org/ for more details.  That XLink processor
could be used more generally for XLink processing applications but
judging from the handful of downloads from Sourceforge, it is not in
particularly high demand :-) 

As a final bit of feedback on this usage experience, XBRL does not use
the XLinks in a "human-interaction" mode so features like the "show"
attribute are pretty irrelevant.

Cheers

Geoff Shuetrim


On Tue, 2005-06-28 at 15:50 -0500, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> After the thread a while back about the 
> death of XLink, I keep finding examples 
> of it being cited, particularly in the 
> OGC literature.
> 
> It seems it lives.  I have to wonder 
> what implementations there are and if any 
> of them interoperate past spelling it the 
> same way.  Or is this an example of yet 
> another abstraction that has been adopted 
> not by the consensus as to its utility, 
> but the mere fact of standardization and 
> a consensus not to reinvent that which 
> has already been spec'd elsewhere 
> regardless of the implementation status?
> 
> I wonder of there is a term for this 
> phenomenon: polite inclusion of other 
> works that are not successful in terms 
> of ground support, and which become a 
> drag on the uptake of the standards/specs 
> which include them.
> 
> len
> 
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