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RE: [xml-dev] Re: determining ID-ness in XML
- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <email@example.com>
- To: Leigh Dodds <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
- Date: Fri, 02 Nov 2001 08:33:26 -0600
Reaaonably, yes. Realistically, I can't say. Language
designers for the WWW are free to do as they will and
that is precisely the problems the Hytimers were tackling.
Why? In their world, they didn't see a system unified
by syntax, but by agreements on abstract forms each
notation processor had to support. That was a tough
love approach, but it had some promise. Again, what
does an XPointer do with a PDF document? Nothing,
probably. Could it? Possibly yes. It requires
agreements that are somewhat abstract and that is
why guys like Dan Connolly said, "I just can't grok
HyTime." It wasn't simply obscure; it was saying something
that it takes time and experience to understand; some
forms of control really are doctrinal; they tell you
what you have to do (the intent, the results), but
not how. This is a lot like trying to teach the
infoSet to a room full of COM programmers who keep
looking up and saying, "show me the code! show
me the code!" They are usually a year or so into
their development before they realize they don't
know how the system works.
IDness is the root fundamental of reliable
addressing. Tim and James are right to point
out this is a gap, but it is a gap the XML
WG and SIG put there. So now we have to ask
ourselves how much of this we want to solve.
My feeling is that given the current proposals,
we will be extending the system vocabulary
every few months. I am also concerned that
regardless of the feeling that XMLIsTheThing,
the other hypertext notation targets will have
the same issues leading inevitably to the
reinvention of Hytime under another name and
that we may have to come back and do this
again with even higher costs. This is how
80/20 bites us. We can punt it away and
solve only part of the problem now, and that is
what we are likely to do given the politics
and personal persuasions. The Web Architecture
group should stop and ask itself if traditionalism
works against effective design.
From: Leigh Dodds [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Something else to consider:
CSS provides a Selector based on ID .
The text at  acknowledges that ID linking is unreliable
(DTD might not be processed or might not exist), and presents
a work around: using attribute selectors.
Looks to me that any solution to the 'ID problem' will have to work
with CSS, and presumably impact the CSS specification as well, yes?