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   Re: [xml-dev] Are hyperlinks presentation or content?

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  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Are hyperlinks presentation or content?
  • From: Eric Bohlman <ebohlman@earthlink.net>
  • Date: Tue, 01 Oct 2002 21:42:23 -0500
  • In-reply-to: <3D98DF51.4090100@prescod.net>
  • Organization: OMS Development

9/30/02 6:33:37 PM, Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net> wrote:

>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 

IIRC, the primary reason why 1) became a big issue was that at the time, several people running 
aggregators were hack-parsing RSS with regexes because the platforms they were using (I forget 
which, but it may have been Flash) didn't have good XML parsers, and it was felt important that 
RSS could be DPH'd.  I suspect the reason it's no longer such a big issue is that the platforms 
have caught up.

>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.

I suspect that with RSS, 2) is still a big issue because RSS is a very concrete application of XML 
and I get the feeling that a lot of developers feel that casting it in terms of RDF merely adds 
layers of abstraction (making the format less intuitive; the original versions of RDF were 
extremely intuitive) for little perceived gain.  I suspect something similar is going on with 


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