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   RE: [xml-dev] SkunkLink: a skunkworks XML linking proposal

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> Hi Mike,
> >You are making exactly the same mistake...
> >"Links that should be presented to the user" belong
> >in a user interface vocabulary, not in XML itself.
> Can you illustrate with an example?


An example of a relationship between two documents is:

<xsl:include href="library.xsl"/>

This has semantic meaning defined by the XSLT specification. It has no
implied user interface behavior suggesting what should happen when
people view stylesheets on-screen.

Someone might write a viewer for XSLT stylesheets. This will translate
the stylesheets into a user-interface vocabulary such as XHTML or
XSL-FO. It might translate the above into something like 

<a href="viewer?target=library.xsl">Click here to view library.xsl

Another XSLT viewer might translate it into some completely different
visual representation. XSLT viewers might also create links between
things that are less obviously relationships in the source XML, for
example links from a variable reference to a variable declaration.

I wouldn't want to use a predefined tag-set for hyperlinks in a source
document, any more than I would want to use predefined tags for
paragraphs or footnotes. These are display concepts, not information
concepts, and they belong in the user-interface vocabulary, not in the

The reason IE5 hasn't implemented XLink, I guess, is that the only way
it displays XML at all is by translating it into a user-interface
vocabulary, and the stylesheet technology for doing the translation is
quite rightly neutral to the source vocabulary in use.

Michael Kay
Software AG
home: Michael.H.Kay@ntlworld.com
work: Michael.Kay@softwareag.com 


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