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Why I liked XLink (was XML vs. the Web)

  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: "xml-dev@lists.xml.org" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Mon, 06 Dec 2010 10:34:26 -0500

Why I liked XLink (was XML vs. the Web)
Roger Costello asked:                   (at 5:10AM, 12/6/2010)

> Would you expand upon what you are thinking on this issue please?

And then went on to show examples of relationships within documents, 
something I mostly lack interest in.  I work with them constantly, 
create them daily, and think about them constantly, but for my 
(document-centric) purposes they're an uninteresting and largely solved 

What does interest me is links between documents, or more broadly, links 
between resources.  Yes, this overlaps with links between parts of 
documents, but it generally feels like a different question.  It has a 
greater opportunity to be a layer separate from documents.

XLink occupies/d a middle ground between the simple "point from a place 
in a doc to somewhere else" of HTML and the tremendously powerful 
"create infinite collections of linked resources" of RDF and Topic Maps. 
  For many purposes, RDF and Topic Maps are drastic overkill, but HTML 
links aren't nearly enough.

I'm not sure what it is about hypertext that is such fertile ground for 
endless visions of abstracted links.  I'm grateful to Tim Berners-Lee 
for bypassing that with the simple  a href=  mechanism, but I hope that 
eventually we can get to something more powerful that remains concrete, 
tightly connected to the resources it links.

Simon St.Laurent

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