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> 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.
You're taking a document perspective, and you're probably right that in the
document world, one is talking about people communicating with people, and
this makes it difficult to divorce structure from presentation entirely. I
think this applies to the whole markup space and is not unique to linking.
But XML is about abstracting away from the presentation as much as one
possibly can, and to my mind XLink doesn't do that.
Part of the problem, I think, is the focus on URIs as identifiers (and
links). I've heard a number of talks recently advocating that we should use
URIs whenever we want to identify anything, and I simply don't think that's
the right direction. To my mind <postcode>RG4 7BS</postcode> is a perfectly
good identifier (for a small piece of geography in which my house is found),
and any technology that requires me to write it differently if I'm going to
use it for linking purposes is too constraining.
Even in the document world, authors should be encouraged to write
<postcode>RG4 7BS</postcode> without too much thought about the fact that in
one particular application, hovering the mouse over it might show you a map.