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

Re: Hyperlink behavior

From: Peter Flynn <pflynn@curia.ucc.ie>
Date: 21 Dec 1996 22:22:34 +0000 (GMT)
To: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
Message-id: <199612212222.WAA13840@curia.ucc.ie>
David Durand writes:

(and I too thank Tim for a very clear startup)

      The basic list is good, though I second Martin's comment -- we should
   not depend on the presence of IDs in documents, if indexing of read-only
   material is a goal.

Are we attempting to provide pointers into non-SGML material as well?

      I must, unfortunately, disclaim knowledge of the new HyTime stuff --
   I've not had a chance to look at it because all my markup-related time has
   been taken up with XML.

Having looked at both the HyTime stuff and the TEI Extended Pointer
Notation, I am now fairly convinced that the TEI mechanism currently
has the edge, partly because it's easy to get across to newcomers, and
partly because it is already implemented in Panorama.

(Blame Mike S-M for this -- it was his presentation of it after SGML96
which swung my pendulum :-)

Putting on the end-user's hat for a minute, I can see the following
from where I sit (and there are doubtless many others):

   Important
      o  maintenance of existing HTML anchor mechanism
      o  bidirectionality
      o  point-by-ID           } with resolution involving more
      o  point-by-markup-tree  } than a start-point like foo#bar
      o  point-by-keyword      } (ie start- and end-points)

   Nice-to-have
      o  pointing into non-SGML, non-HTML documents
      o  pointing into graphics, sound, video, 3d-space etc
      o  pointing into other applications (eg databases)
      o  tracking of who is pointing into your own stuff :-)

Putting the design hat back on, we should probably not ignore the fact
that the existing anchor mechanism of HTML does provide for
substantially more functionality than most browser makers have seen
fit to provide to date, and that ISINDEX, FORM, IMG, APP, APPLET,
EMBED, OBJECT, STYLE, and even SCRIPT can also be regarded as
hyperlinks in the sense that they state the existence of a link
between point X in a document and some point Y in the external world.

Finally, wearing the management headgear, I'd appreciate some advice
from those experienced inside the W3C as to the pressure for
implementation. I assume it is not mission-critical, otherwise the
major vendors would have brought forward their own solutions long
ago. Without wishing them to betray any commercial confidence, can we
assume that this green light from the ERB is an indication that there
is no imminent announcement of a ready-made, working solution in the
pipeline from any of the players?

///Peter
Received on Saturday, 21 December 1996 17:23:07 EST

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