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   Re: [xml-dev] [Fwd: The problems with Xlink for integration languages]

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At 1:56 AM -0400 9/17/02, Thomas B. Passin wrote:

>With great respect to Jeni, I think that something has gotten lost here (I
>do not mean in her example, just the whole discussion the way it has
>developed).    If xhtml is supposed to be a replacement or follow-on to more
>or less replace html,  then its hyperlinks MUST BE SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND AND
>USE.  Or at least, ordinary everyday hyperlinks must be.  Otherwise this new
>facility will not get used, or it will be used wrongly and sour the majority
>of web page developers on using it - back to html 4.0, at least it works and
>we can understand it.

Absolutely. However, please don't fall into the trap of assuming that 
XLink has to be as complex as some of the examples in this thread. 
Perhaps out of ignorance, perhaps deliberately, these are much 
nastier than they would have to be in practice. For instance, a basic 
img (Excuse me, object) element might look like this:

<object xlink:href="http://www.example.com/image.jpg";
         width="100" height="100" other_non_linking_attributes="..."/>

That's all. xlink:type and the namespace declaration would be 
defaulted in from the DTD. The DTD would be built into web browsers 
which would recognize the public identifier for XHTML 2.0. The other 
link attributes would be either defaulted or ignored. XLink does 
allow applications to define their own semantics and behavior for 
links, and to ignore or change the behavior suggested by attributes 
like xlink:show.

The only objection I've seen so far to XLink that is not based on 
fundamental misunderstandings of XLink is the desire to put multiple 
link attributes on a single element instead of using extended links. 
I'm sympathetic to this position. But even here, there might be a 
middle ground. An element such as object can contain multiple simple 
link elements rather than all the extended link locator, arc, label 
fru-fru. For example,

<object width="100" height="100" other_non_linking_attributes="...">
   <source xlink:href="http://www.example.com/MyImage.jpg"/>
   <longdesc xlink:href="http://www.example.com/description.html"/>
   <map xlink:href="http://www.example.com/map.txt"/>
     In this scheme we can put a <strong>lot</strong> of markup here.

I think this is pretty straight-forward, pretty easy to type, and in 
many ways much cleaner than the current approach.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          XML in a  Nutshell, 2nd Edition (O'Reilly, 2002)          |
|              http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/xian2/              |
|  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0596002920/cafeaulaitA/  |
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