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   Re: XLink transformations

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  • From: tpassin@home.com
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 09:21:47 -0400

Michael Kraus wrote -
> Ben,
> I think the problem is deeper than you described. For example:
<example removed/>
> Now the question is: Is there any chance for the browser, given the
> linkbase from above, to know that there should be a link between books
> B1 and B3? And if, which elements should be used as source and target
> of the link? the <p> element or the <b> element? In my opinion,
> there's no general solution to this problem if the complexity of
> XPointer and XSLT is considered.
This is a good example.  I think the approach to take is to create a new XML
file, based on the xlink file and the source file(s), then to do any
transformations on it afterwards.

The harder part is when you use an XPointer expressions in an XLink, then
change the document that is pointed to.  Chances are, the XPointer
expressions won't point to the right place any more.  This problem is
similar to that of constructing a primary key for a relational database
table.  If the  key is compound (like (lastname,firstname,company)), and one
part changes (John Smith changes his employer), what happens everywhere
there is a pointer to this instsance of the key?

For databases, the best solution is to give the instance its own identity,
i.e., the primary key should be a unique ID number.  That could be made to
work for many XLink cases, too.  But ranges could still be a problem.

Tom Passin


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