W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > December 1996

Re: Hyperlinks: 3.3, agree with Martin; new req. 3.4, self-revealing links.

From: Len Bullard <cbullard@HiWAAY.net>
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 1996 07:00:32 -0600
Message-ID: <32BBDF70.6408@HiWAAY.net>
To: Martin Bryan <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com>
CC: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
Martin Bryan wrote:
>  
> Web users stick to HTML - why should they change to XML if XML's linking
> mechanism is no better than HTML's. Many of us web users are screaming at
> W3C to improve linking so we can manage our links better, and so that we can
> offer sensible hierarchies of possible information providers. If they don't
> improve HTML soon some of us are going to have to find an alternative. It
> would be nice if that alternative could be XML.

Agreed.  Unless we get a capability that is clearly superior to the 
current web situation, the alternative is to apply other current 
systems which are already superior and simply adopt protocols which 
can support them.  SGML/XML should offer a set of hyperlinking and 
location models (yes, location models) which enable us to build up 
to a more capable system by implementing each part as needed.

You won't oust HTML.  Forget that.  At the end of this, HTML must 
also be expressed as XML.  It is already expressed as SGML so 
it is XML that must make a case for itself.

A victory indicates someone wins and someone loses.  If that is 
what you want, you are not designing a system; you are choosing 
victims.  Subsetting HyTime (what it was designed for) is a better 
alternative than adopting it in non-conforming pieces then claiming 
to have solved the problem by superior means.   So far, I have 
read no real objections to what Eliot is proposing.  IMO, HyTime 
is baroque and has undergone many transformations that while 
making it stronger, have left many of us bewildered about what 
it is.  A position paper that proposes how HyTime could be 
applied to XML hyperlinking is needed.  Simply punting to the 
stylesheet revives the DSSSL vs The World wars carefully put 
to bed by wiser members of the SGML community a year ago.

Len Bullard
Lockheed Martin
Received on Saturday, 21 December 1996 08:00:33 EST

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