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Even when we played with n-way links, linkbases, etc., most of the
I saw were pop-up menus and the like with a query returning
a set of values then used to initialize the control. Given what we have for
controls, is there something better about an n-way link beyond
using Add.Item, SelectedItem.Text, etc. other than having a platform
independent way to say that without having to know which GUI we
are designing for? Or inverted indices?
I think XLink is fallow because current systems make it easy to
do what we do with that sort of thing in ways we are all comfortable
with doing it. If it is to be an innovation, shouldn't be more
than a change of clothing?
From: Liam Quin [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
On Thu, Oct 21, 2004 at 03:05:54PM -0400, DuCharme, Bob (LNG-CHO) wrote:
> Jonathan, if you're standing in front of a white board when you
> ask this question, dry erase marker in hand, you can put down "XML
I think part of the problem with XLink's deployment on the Web is that
it didn't have clear relationship to HTML and to Web-based multimedia.
There are lots of use cases for "linkbases", not least in connection
with distributed annotations, but the ability to take an arbitrary
attribute in an XML or XHTML document, or the content of an arbitrary
element, and say, "use this URI as the destination for *this* link, with
this text in French and this in Italian, and if the user clicks here,
offer a choice of thee seven links with their associated titles" was a
step beyond the horizon of most Web developers, and old hat to the SGML
I don't know how to bridge that gap, and I'm not sure who does, if
anyone, but until it's bridged, I don't think we'll see great leaps
forward in the XLink area. It's cultural and politial more than
I'm actually still a little disappointed by today's Web browsers.
Typographically they're back in the 1970s or early 1980s in some ways.
Hung punctuation? Hyphenation? ffl ligatures (for Latin scripts)?
In terms of hypertext, yes, the distributed mostly-working Web was a
great success, but Web brosers today haven't caught up to documentation
viewers from 1994 nor from CD-ROM authoring software of years before.
The corporate desktop isn't somewhere you'd expect to see innovation,
and indeed, now that the corporate desktop seems to drive the Web, we're
not seeing innovation.
I'd love to see a more sophisticated XSL-FO being used in browsers. I'd
love to see Web browsers making use of embedded RDF to display
information about Web pages. I'd love to see multi-channel audio being
used on the Web, both for accessibility and for the user experience.
I'd love to see a whole bunch of things.
It's not clear to me where W3C should be going with XML and related
specifications, although it's certainly something I spend a lot of
time thinking about and asking people about.