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RE: [xml-dev] Linking documents that "belong" together == BestPractices

Hi Adam...
The way you stated the problem -  seems to me your problem is not "linking
related documents" - but one of assembling pieces of one logical document.
Presumably the "chapter" pieces were written primarily targetted at final
assembly into your book.

Given this - all your suggestions seem like solutions in search of a
problem. The first solution that occurred to me was to use a fundamental
SGML/XML feature - the separation of logical document (your book) and its
physical parts (multiple entities consisting of a document entity and one or
more named entity files).

The document entity is the "document plan or template"  for your book. Sort
of "assembly instructions".
	<title>Some Book</title>
	<section><title>section 2</title>
	<section><title>section 2</title>

Final assembly would include Entity declarations for the various pieces
(i.e. where might I find the pieces)in the internal subset of the DOCTYPE

<!DOCTYPE book
[<!ENTITY chapter01 SYSTEM "...">
<!ENTITY chapter08 SYSTEM "...">
<book> .... </book>

This seems to have met your criteria for separation of the physical pieces -
each possibly having its own metadata.  But perhaps I don't totally
understand your problem.

CyberSpace Industries 2000 Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Adam Van Den Hoven [mailto:Adam.Hoven@bluezone.net]
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2001 9:54 PM
To: XML Development Mailing List (E-mail)
Subject: [xml-dev] Linking documents that "belong" together == Best

Hey guys,

I need some suggestions about best practices for linking documents that
"belong" together. For instance I have a number of chapters of a book, each
in its own XML file. I need some way to bind them all into a book, with an
order and probably those chapters are going to belong to sections that make
up the book.

I can think of a number of ways to do this.

1) Build a custom schema
	<title>Some Book</title>
	<section><title>section 2</title>
		<chapter xlink:href="chapter01.xml" />
		<chapter xlink:href="chapter02.xml" />
		<chapter xlink:href="chapter03.xml" />
		<chapter xlink:href="chapter04.xml" />
	<section><title>section 2</title>
		<chapter xlink:href="chapter05.xml" />
		<chapter xlink:href="chapter06.xml" />
		<chapter xlink:href="chapter07.xml" />
		<chapter xlink:href="chapter08.xml" />
But that seems to be a poor choice long term (particularly for a publicly
available document.

2) Use RDF in some way (using Dublin Core Relation IsPartOf constructs
3) Use Extended XLinks

What are the things to consider when deciding how to do these things. I
don't want to put everything into a single document since each can validly
have its own metadata. What is the "best practice" for this situation?


Adam van den Hoven
Internet Software Developer
Blue Zone
tel. 604 685 4310 ext. 260
fax 604 685 4391

Blue Zone makes you interactive. http://www.bluezone.net/

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