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The XML Linking WG has just published four XPointer Working Drafts,
representing the dissection of XPointer into a general framework and
multiple independent schemes: element(), xmlns(), and xpointer().
The framework document deals with bare identifiers (which can be DTD or
WXS-based IDs) and with the general syntax of schemes.
The element() scheme allows references into frozen documents that don't
have IDs present, using a syntax like "element(/1/2/3)" to mean the
3rd child of the 2nd child of the root element, or "element(foo/4/5)"
to mean the 5th child of the 4th child of the element whose ID is "foo".
The xmlns() scheme provides a namespace context for XPath expressions in
the xpointer() scheme; XPointers do *not* inherit the namespace context
of the document in which they are embedded.
The xpointer() scheme, which is not yet a Last Call draft due to
known minor editorial and definitional problems, provides for general
reference into documents using XPath, extended by the here() and origin()
functions for use with XLink, and the concept of points (similar to DOM
Level 2 positions) and ranges (similar to DOM Level 2 ranges) to allow
The possibility that other schemes will be added remains open.
The purpose of factoring these schemes is to permit other standards to
claim conformance to any or all of these documents (although it makes no
sense to claim conformance to a scheme without also claiming conformance
to the framework.
Because this is primarily a refactoring effort without any new semantics
(except WXS-compliant IDs), and only trivial changes to syntax,
these documents will probably go straight from Last Call to Proposed
Recommendation; the review period is only three weeks. So get your
comments in early and often.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall awaken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
John Cowan firstname.lastname@example.org
At times of peril or dubitation, http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Perform swift circular ambulation, http://www.reutershealth.com
With loud and high-pitched ululation.