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Tim Bray wrote:
> On Monday, September 30, 2002, at 02:23 PM, Paul Prescod wrote:
>> The solution that preserves the syntactic goodness of HTML and Docbook
>> is to move the link specification for a vocabuulary into a machine
>> readable form. Then the question becomes how to link to it: but this
>> is no more complicated than nor difficult than linking to a schema. We
>> could use RDDL or a special attribute or processing instruction.
> Or XLink, and keep it all inline. -Tim
By now most of us are familiar with the years of fighting over RSS. My
understanding is that the core syntactic (not philisophical) differences
between the two parties are:
1. the use of XML namespaces
2. the requirement to use the RDF namespace and encoding in particular
Now we have the XLink/HLink war. The issues are similar, though with a
much heavier weighting on 2. And in fact, recent developments in the RSS
war also indicate that 1. is becoming increasingly acceptable and 2. is
still a major killer sticking point. (I haven't followed closely so if
I'm wrong, somebody please tell me, but that's the impression I get here
The heat of these debates should give us all pause. Clearly people care
deeply about the syntax of the XML namespaces they use and develop are
not willing to tolerate much dictation from outside what the syntax
should be. Perhaps it is not entirely coincidence that RDF and XLink are
two really interesting technologies that have languished in obscurity
and have left a very sour taste in many people's mouths.
We, the markup intelligensia can keep shoving these invasive
"extensible", "generic" standards down people's throats but I don't
think they're swallowing. Why the reluctance to give them want they want?
I've found the RDF people to be rather pragmatic:
"a lot of people are interested in exploring the use of XML
Schema annotations to map from more colloquial XML into RDF graphs.
IMHO there's a major role for this approach too, so long as we have at
least one syntax for RDF that takes the self-standing view..."
If this thing had existed years ago then arguably the RSS war would
never have had to happen. The UserLand XML syntax could be mapped to RDF
using a generic mechanism and the RSS world could have its cake and eat
Why not be similarly pragmatic about XLink? In fact, why not take the
opportunity to devise a common mechanism for declaring mappings from
domain-specific vocabularies to semantic vocabularies?
(of course using XML Schema is just one approach...one could imagine
also using XPaths:
or perhaps CSS, or architectural forms, or something else entirely)