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Re: Radical cure for BOS confusion



At 10:12 PM 1/11/97 +0000, Martin Bryan wrote:
>David Durand wrote:
>>
>>   4. (Martin Bryan). I'm least sure about what Martin wants but I think
>>he'd prefer a mechanism that enforced indirection in specifying the set of
>>relevant documents.
>
>I don't know where this idea that I want to enforce indirection comes from!
>I want to allow indirection, alongside direct links, but I want the
>indirection units to be easily manageable - i.e. storable in separate
>storage units, easily identifiable, ideally by being referenced in a header
>that is read right at the start of the document, but I am equally happy with
>the idea of having them _grouped_ at other points in a document. The only
>thing I am against is trying to manage links that a spread around "like
>raisins in a plum duff!" Such links are, in my view, unmanageable. What is
>also important to me is that linksets can be built by concatenating existing
>sets of linksets.

Given that the ability to group links or location addresses is inherent in
having a generic markup scheme (because you can define any grouping
mechanism you please for your document types), I think the question is
"should XML Link *require* that links and location addresses be grouped?"

While I personally like to group my location addresses most days (for the
reasons Martin cites) there are days I don't.  I think it would be unwise
to define requirements that aren't strictly necessary in order to ensure a
workable system.

For example, when documents are small, there's no effective difference
between grouping at the top and spreading, so why require the authors of
small documents to group?  For large documents, people will presumably
design their structures so they perform well in the intended delivery
environments--I don't think we need to legislate obvious design strategies
if they are not of universal benefit.

I can see a benefit, for example, in having an easy-to-recognize signal
that says "there are ilinks in this document" or "there are bi-directional
alinks in this document" so processors need not parse every document in the
"BOS" looking for links.  

Cheers,

E.
--
W. Eliot Kimber (eliot@isogen.com) 
Senior SGML Consulting Engineer, Highland Consulting
2200 North Lamar Street, Suite 230, Dallas, Texas 75202
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