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   Re: XLink - where are we? [tiny amount of frustration]

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  • From: "Michael Kay" <M.H.Kay@eng.icl.co.uk>
  • To: <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 09:49:02 -0000

>- Yes I know there is movement in this area. I'd also like
to see *some*
>movement on 'behaviour' - how to we create an interactive
document rather
>than simply decide on the best way to send it to the
printer (which will be
>99% of the use of XSL).

And this reflects a lingering concern I have about XLink,
which is that it is putting display-time behaviour into the
XML document rather than into the stylesheet. I'm not
convinced that XLink is defining relationships at a high
enough level of abstraction, and I'd prefer to see work on
interactive behaviour happen in the XSL world.

In particular, I am really uncomfortable with the one-to-one
mapping of stored XML documents to "units of display". I
think the presentation facilities (stylesheets and hyperlink
browsing) should be independent of the granularity of
storage. I tried to illustrate this concept with my HTML
rendition of the New Testament
 http://www.wokchorsoc.freeserve.co.uk/bible-nt/index.html )
where one XML document is rendered as many HTML documents
within a navigable frameset. Here of course there are no
XLink's at all: the document is purely hierarchic, and the
interactive behaviour is inferred from the intrinsic
structure of the XML.

I don't see who in the XSL / XLink world is trying to make
such a rendition easy to define. Conceptually, I'm sure it
can be done by using frames as flow objects: there is, of
course, the little problem of the "unit of download" if you
want to do it client-side. (I did it, of course, with a
server-side SAXON application).

To put things another way, if I'm going to have to
pre-process my corpus by splitting it into lots of linked
page-sized chunks to make it browsable, I might as well
render those chunks in HTML while I'm about it.

Ralph - it would be nice to see what Hytime can achieve with
the New Testament example.

Mike Kay

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