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   XLink WD's Change Decision

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  • From: David Wang <dwang@mitre.org>
  • To: XML-DEV <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 11:04:11 -0400

I have a question concerning the XLink working draft.  Namely, I was curious
about the evolution of the XLink concept, so I read some of the past working
drafts from 1998 and 1999.  One thing that caught my attention was the fact
that the 19980303 draft had a very open and grand notion of "Link Behavior". 
It allowed the author to give hints to the timing of certain actions like show
and actuate and then define some arbitrary behavior to occur when the link is
traversed, including: "opening, closing, or scrolling windows or panes...
testing, authenticating, or logging user and context information; or executing
various programs".

I am very attracted by this notion because of its many possibilities.

However, I noticed in the 19990726 draft, the notion of behavior became much
more restricted (in fact, all-together eliminated) in favor of just specifying
show and actuate.  It became much more browser-centric with these
restrictions, but the picture for XLink became clearer, too.

I'm wondering if anyone knows why that was the case (rationale?), and if so,
is the grand notion going to be revisited in the future?  Perhaps in a
companion to XLink or even "XLink+" ? :-)

My personal guess (since I was not even cognizant of XML at the times XLink
was shaping up) is that the grand notion was a little "too grand" for the time
(wow has XLink changed since the beginning! :-) ) and was therefore restricted
to what would immediately apply (which would then make sense with the
browser-centric turn of events) to accelerate getting it out the door.

I'd love any comments and answers people can give concerning the transitions
in XLink.


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