W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > January 1997

Re: Relationship Taxonomy Questions

From: David G. Durand <dgd@cs.bu.edu>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 13:05:39 -0500
Message-Id: <v02130502af0ea199f5ed@[]>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
At 2:34 PM 1/23/97, Jon Bosak wrote:

>1. Specify the behavior without telling you what I mean, or

My only problem with this is that this is something new, just for linking.
IN XML I do _not_ have the ability to say how something is displayed, but
not what it means.

I can run my documents through a random element-renamer and tell the
browser that the stylesheet is required, but then I'm still at the mercy of
the browser.

>2. Say what I mean and let you figure out what to do with it, or

This is easy, and is supported for everything but is likely to be unpopular.

>3. Specify the behavior and tell you what I mean, but require that you
>follow the specified behavior regardless of what you think about it,

Again, how does one propose to enforce this. We don't offer the option in
markup for text display, because we can't. Why do we _need_ to offer it for

I agree that it would be nice, for some applications but it's a requirement
that is made almost unenforceable by generic markup. It's even
unenforceable in Acrobat, if you're willing to pick through the file and
try to mangle that. Though acrobat has such a small level of abstraction,
that it is _very unlikely._

>4. Specify the behavior and tell you what I mean and let you make up
>your own mind about whether to follow the specified behavior.

It seems to me that 4 is what we need to specify, and what we have already
agreed to specify for document formatting. We allow people to use special
broswers or DTDs to achieve goals 1 and 3 by enforcing additional
semantics, but we cannot require such behaviors from general XML

>Note that what I have just said applies to both the linking and the
>non-linking parts of the document and for the same reasons.

If this is true, then I have radically mis-understood what we can (and
intend to) offer in the non-linking display of documents. How could we
enforce a display discipline on top of a generic XML parser? I can see how
we can enable publishers to write XML-using software that dopes such
things, but it seems otherwise opposed to the whole purpose of using XML.

   -- David

I am not a number. I am an undefined character.
David Durand              dgd@cs.bu.edu  \  david@dynamicDiagrams.com
Boston University Computer Science        \  Sr. Analyst
http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/dgd/   \  Dynamic Diagrams
--------------------------------------------\  http://dynamicDiagrams.com/
MAPA: mapping for the WWW                    \__________________________
Received on Friday, 24 January 1997 12:58:53 UTC

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