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   Re: [xml-dev] XPointer crisis

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At 03:33 PM 2/1/2002 -0500, Daniel Veillard wrote:
>What is the most proeminent point for a spec. Doing it's job well
>or being very efficient in all cases ?

The most important thing is to know your requirements and to meet them 
well. There is clearly a need for simple, efficient pointers.

>Open question to me. Would XML
>has had success if it was the stripped down version that SML activist
>(used to ?) push for. XPointer as XLink is document oriented, that was
>the charter of the group I think.

SML and XML had exactly the same use cases, and SML was not really that 
much more efficient to implement than XML. I think that full hypertext 
systems and simple pointers have very different use cases, and hence very 
different requirements. I agree that the charter of the group was oriented 
precisely toward the kind of language that XPointer has become, and you 
can't fault a group for fulfilling its charter.

However, I have been arguing for years that we need very simple pointers in 
XML, and several times people have told me that the reason I can't have 
simple pointers is that there may not be enough commercial interest in 
full-fledged hypertext to justify XPointer outside the scholarly community, 
and if the XML activity allows me to have simpler and efficient pointers, 
we may never get good support for hypertext because there just won't be 
enough interest.

I think it was a mistake to charter a group to do full-fledged hypertext 
before developing a simple proposal for pointers into documents. I can't 
fault the Working Group for fulfilling their charter.

>You can revisit this and say
>that text/xml and application/xml should have different fragment
>identifiers (XPointer in the first case and some simpler proposal for
>the latter), well that could be one way to clearly differenciate both
>Mime-Types in the mind of the public, why not.

I like the idea of exploring ways to clearly identify different markets for 
XPointer and the simple proposals. I'm not sure that mime types are the 
right way to do this, but I haven't given it much thought.



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