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

Links and stylesheets

From: Jon Bosak <bosak@atlantic-83.Eng.Sun.COM>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 18:07:20 -0800
Message-Id: <199611280207.SAA02697@boethius.eng.sun.com>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
CC: bosak@atlantic-83.Eng.Sun.COM
[Len Bullard:]

| Because I wasn't involved in the discussion of the decision to stick
| to the schedule and not do these in parallel, please provide the
| rationale for that

Because we can't do everything all at once.

| and the means by which hyperlinking is separated
| from the stylesheet discussion since there are concepts in which the
| two overlap.  How is that separation maintained?

By providing a general link mechanism that points to one or more
stylesheets and says "hey, these are stylesheets".  We will have a
link mechanism that can point to multiple targets (or we're just
screwing around, in my opinion), and I don't know any reason a priori
why a document couldn't point to stylesheets of several different
types -- four FOSI, three dsssl-o, two CSS, and a partridge in a pear
tree -- or why, if the app can handle it, it couldn't put up a menu
and let the user choose which one to apply.

The tricky part is whether the behavior specifications go in the
stylesheet language or not.  As you rightly say,

| a reply to a question on a design vote by the ERB of "oh don't worry,
| the stylesheet will handle that" will be unacceptable rationale

and I think that it's in the area of behavioral specifications that
this kind of question will arise.  By "behavior" I mean, for example,
the specification that this particular link right here will pop up a
single scrollable child window that contains just the content of the
element pointed to in the target document, while that other five-ended
link over there will pop up five tiled areas in my current view port
each of which allows me to view the entire document containing the
element pointed to.  Or whatever.

I believe that there are basically two ways to provide for such
specifications: you either consider them to be part of the stylesheet
(the way that DynaText does it) or you provide some kind of
architectural form mechanism that allows the behavior to be attached
to the link element.  Deciding which way to go will indeed involve us
in some discussion of stylesheets, but the goal here is to keep
ourselves sane by getting into this area as little as possible and as
late as possible.

In today's ERB conference, we decided to divide Phase II (hypertext)
into three subphases:

   1. Addressing
   2. Typing
   3. Behavior

The first phase of this effort has shown us the virtue of putting off
the hardest questions until the end: you understand more by the time
you get there.  It is hoped that in the process of solving the link
addressing and link typing problems we will learn enough to do the
right thing when it comes time to deal with behavior.

Jon
Received on Wednesday, 27 November 1996 21:09:35 EST

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