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Comments on XML-Link Spec

From: Eric Johnson <ericj@nev.com>
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 10:23:02 +0100
Message-Id: <199705171509.LAA05066@ids2.idsonline.com>
To: "W3C SGML WG" <w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org>
My comments below may more prove my ignorance than be enlightening.  So be
it.  I'm working from the white printed version of the spec Jon handed out
at the WWW6 conference.  With these comments, I'm coming from two
directions: greater clarity where possible and spec independence.  I
applaud the brevity.  However, the spec, it seems to me, as much as
possible must stand on its own and minimally rely on references to other


It becomes clear, but not immediately, for example, that a link can have
than one resource.  I kept having to refer back to the definitions, which
seem sometimes incomplete, in trying to understand their full implications.

RESOURCE-  In the case of 'resource,' can a link have more than two
resources?  Don't see anything in the spec that suggests a link cannot.  If
so, is there an upper limit?  Logic suggests only two, but perhaps this
isn't overtly logical.  Does a link have to have a resource?  The spec
seems to imply that it does and logic says it must.  Is a point therefore a
resource?  E.g., a location to insert a pointer or a resource?  

LOCATOR-  "may be used to locate a resource"  If a link involves more than
one resource, is the 'a' perhaps a source of confusion?  Could there be
clearer wording?  What other purpose specifically could a locator serve
than to locate a resource?  An example or two?

LABEL-  Here defined as a "caption", later labeled as TITLE.  If a caption
is "associated with a resource," cannot a link have more than one label? 
If not, why not?  And please make the possibilities clearer.

TRAVERSAL-  I'm hung up on the 'a' in "accessing a resource."  Where does a
traversal begin?  The spec seems to say where under the next item,
MULTI-DIRECTIONAL LINK, so why not here?

MULTI-DIRECTIONAL LINK-  The wording here clearly implies to me that a link
may have more than two resources.  If that's what's intended, that's what
comes across.  If true, please so state.

IN-LINE LINK-  The examples are what make the definition clear.  Perhaps a
phrase to explain why it can serve as its own resource?

OUT-OF-LINE LINK-  Does "multi-directional" here truly mean
multi-directional, or is it only bi-directional?


LINK TYPOLOGY-  "varying numbers of resources" seems vague.  More precision
possible without hampering the implementer of the standard?

FORMATTING-  In what standard, if any, will link formatting information be


OUT-OF-LINE in the last full line.  Are out-of-line links by definition
independent links, or are independent links a subset of out-of-line links? 
What's the distinction?


ROLE-  Each link has at least one role?  The implication is that each link
can have more than one.  Why would a resource be given its own role?  I
think I understand, but I'm having trouble gleaning it from the spec.

RESOURCE-  Each locator must identify at least one resource in some
fashion.  Or does a given locator have only one resource?  Can a locator
have more than one?

LABEL-  Why is the attribute TITLE used?  Why not one or the other?  Are
both terms indeed required?  Where does it say in the spec (or elsewhere)
that one must use TITLE?

Received on Saturday, 17 May 1997 11:09:35 UTC

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