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At 11:22 AM 10/22/2004, Michael Kay wrote:
> > you can put down "XML Linking."
>Hyperlinks belong in the user interface space, XML should represent
>information independently of the user interface. It was always
>architecturally wrong to do hyperlinking at the XML level and the attempt
>should not be repeated.
>"Modelling relationships in XML" - that would be different.
I tend to agree.
I think that modelling relationships sets a foundation for
linking. Linking -behavior- belongs specifically in the user interface
space. And we've seen that CSS and XSL-FO can be used hand-in-hand with XML
quite nicely to determine document behavior.
What amazes me is that the groups responsible for those
specifications haven't defined more advanced linking behavior.
That said, a new XML linking specification could certainly define
author intention more than a pure data modelling specification would. Take
You have a large organization, which I'll call Acme Docutech. Acme
Docutech has one person who is responsible for layout and presentation of
information, for both print and the Web. It has ten document authors, each
of whom is responsible for a different space, and has nothing to do with
layout of the information they're writing.
Without -something- in the XML to indicate author preference for
link behavior, how can they know what the end result will be? How can they
author the content?
If Acme Docutech has a common stylesheet, the authors are going to
know what ends up bolded, what ends up italicized, and what the tags are
for that, whether they be <strong>, or <span class="strong">, or whatever.
An XML specification describing data relationships is a specification that
can describe linking, by default, and should have some sort of hook for
author preference. In normal XML+stylesheets, this is chosen by the tag.
But linking purposes vary from link to link, far moreso than typical
The problem with the XML aficionado view of data modelling is that
it doesn't take authors into account. I may have a specific reason when
authoring content to want a link to appear in a certain way, but I may have
no skill or ability to write the stylesheet that makes sure that happens. I
need to know how to write my tag to specify the linking behavior I want.
In other words, I need for that preference to be somehow displayed
-at the XML level.-
I agree that an XML data modelling specification shouldn't define
linking behaviors...but there have to be hooks, or it'll be ignored, like
XLink has been ignored. And it'll be so because it's gone too far to the
other end of the spectrum. Unlike XLink, which has too much connection of
behavior and modelling, it'll have too little.
Of course, in an ideal world, the "new XLink" people would work
hand-in-hand with the XSL-FO and CSS people, and there'd be no need for
such hooks. Experience leads me to doubt that such cooperation will occur.