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   Re: [Somewhat Offtopic] Transclusion

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  • From: Chris Maden <crism@oreilly.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Tue, 9 Jun 1998 15:30:20 -0400 (EDT)

[This should probably go to alt.hypertext, but I haven't been reading

[John Cowan]
> The very interesting DeRose/Maden paper on transclusion at
> http://oreilly.com/people/staff/crism/transclu.html is an excellent
> discussion of transclusion for *quotation*, but it does not address
> transclusion for *reuse* at all.  (This is not a complaint, just a
> comment.)

We certainly thought about it.  The best way to use transclusion for
reuse, though, is with entities.  If something's part of your
document, make it so.  Since a system identifier in XML is a URI, and
a URI can include a fragment, and that fragment can be an XPointer,
there's really no limitation on what an entity can be.

I recognize that there are resources you may want to reuse that don't
fit into your DTD, and so are unsuitable to be entities.  In that
case, transclusion is necessary.  But as you say:

> Transclusion for reuse is a way of making other people your
> co-authors, with credit and (possible) compensation, but without
> their specific consent.  (Publishing one's document in transclusible
> form would constitute a general consent.)

I strongly disagree with this.  The reason Steve and I proposed always
distinguishing transclusion is that otherwise, there will be too much
fear of intellectual property theft, and the Web could stagnate.
Theft is always a possibility (copy and paste always works), but it
shouldn't be made easy.

> In that case, the GPL is not being quoted in your document, but
> rather replicated into the appropriate slot of your document --- the
> (virtual) copyright page.  It should appear in the font & style
> appropriate to a copyright page, not to that appropriate to a
> (block) quotation.  In either case, the stylesheet of the referring
> document is the controlling element.

The stylesheet should be able to control the presentation of the
transclusion.  I don't agree that it should be able to completely
override the browser's border or other delimiter on the transcluded
text, though; if you really need it to be seamless, just copy it into
your document.  I don't have a problem making you do a little bit of
work to take someone else's content, even if you do have the right.

<!ENTITY crism PUBLIC "-//O'Reilly//NONSGML Christopher R. Maden//EN"
"<URL>http://www.oreilly.com/people/staff/crism/ <TEL>+1.617.499.7487
<USMAIL>90 Sherman Street, Cambridge, MA 02140 USA" NDATA SGML.Geek>

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