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   RE: XLink WD's Change Decision

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  • From: "Eve L. Maler" <Eve.Maler@east.sun.com>
  • To: "David Wang" <dwang@mitre.org>
  • Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 17:46:58 -0400

I'm a co-chair and co-editor of the Linking specs, and have been involved 
in the Linking work since the beginning, so hopefully I can provide some 
"institutional memory."

I'm a little confused about the idea that we originally planned to support 
a lot of sophisticated behavior; as the March 1998 draft says, "XLink does 
not provide mechanisms for controlling link formatting because it is 
considered to fall into the domain of stylesheets."  The extensive examples 
of link formatting and behavior in the introduction to Section 6 were 
supplied just to show the range of variation possible.

I can tell you that over the years, we've see-sawed back and forth about 
whether to put in the behavior attributes at all!  At the time the March 
1998 draft was written, we innocently thought they should be there and 
should be normative.  Later, we backed off and made them "hints."  Now 
we've (jadedly :-) returned to making them normative, or at least as 
normative as HTML is, and we carefully specify typical cases when you 
wouldn't want to apply them.

In general, the group still feels that stylesheets and other processing are 
more appropriate for providing the full range of possible linking 
behavior.  We anticipate that element GIs and role attributes will provide 
enough information about the links' types to enable the application of 
serious behavior.  Also, you can mix non-XLink attributes with your XLink 
ones, and, with show="other" and actuate="other", alert your application to 
look for and do something with your extra attributes.

Best regards,


From: David Wang
> > 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".

Eve Maler                                    +1 781 442 3190
Sun Microsystems XML Technology Center    elm @ east.sun.com

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