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Re: Anchor terminology

From: Peter Flynn <pflynn@curia.ucc.ie>
Date: 26 Dec 1996 12:11:36 +0000 (GMT)
To: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
Message-id: <199612261211.MAA10494@curia.ucc.ie>
Jon Bosak writes:

      Link: An element that expresses one or more relationships between
      objects.

      Link end: One of the objects addressed by a link.

      Anchor: An element designed to serve as a link end.

   Under these definitions, what HyTime generically and confusingly calls
   an anchor (that is, anything that is addressed by some link somewhere)
   is unambiguously called a link end, putting the emphasis on the role
   of the link in determining whether something is, in fact, a link end,
   and anything that has been deliberately formed in such a way as to
   make it easy to link to (as, for example, an element to which an
   identifier has been assigned) is called what everyone who is not a
   HyTime expert would call it, viz., an anchor.

Can you run that past me again? You started off by proposing to define
a link end as "one of [unspecified] the ends of a link" but it seems
to have wandered into a definition of what (for want of more
expressive terms) are conventionally called "source" and "target".

I agree fully that it is high time we reclaimed some of the remoter
linguistic vagrancies of HyTime, and that we need to do so in a
language understanded of the people. My problem is that users tend to
think of links in terms of direction, whether or not any
directionality is implied: so "link end" still retains connotations of
"target" and anchor retains connotations of "source". The point about
an anchor is that it is something that stays fixed while you do
something else like go ashore.

   Where the fleet of stars is anchored,
   And the young star-captains glow.       (can't remember the author)

The question is therefore whether and how we can fix this so that
people will use and understand the terms as we wish them to, and I
think you've made a vaulable start: I just want to get it really clear
what you're implying.

   Think of it as a Christmas present.

Think of it as evolution in action (my season's present to any San
Franciscans on the list :-)

///Peter
Received on Thursday, 26 December 1996 09:46:17 EST

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