Re: Relationship Taxonomy Questions

David G. Durand wrote:
> At 2:34 PM 1/23/97, Len Bullard wrote:
> >The problem is to figure out if hyperlink means:
> >
> >o data object
> >
> >o record
> >
> >o structure
> These all seem the same to me.

See Fundamentals of Data Structures... just so you and the
guy writing the parser can have the same conversation.

> >
> >By all means put a non-normative set of relationship types
> >in the spec.  But these are domain-specific relationships.
> >They are application conventions.  Topics, if you will.
> On this we agree.

Good.  A Table of Contents is a terrible thing to waste.
> >Once you try to specify a class relationship (supertypes, subtypes)
> >and expect inheritance and interoperation, you have to specify
> >standard operations.
> Why? What are the standard operations on Mammals and elephants required to
> support the statement "An elephant is a mammal".

a == b.
> This is simply false. It is true, that as we do _not_ have to define
> operations, we will _not_ get much benefit from the magic OO dust that you
> are once again asking us to sprinkle on presentational markup.

No magic, David.

> >However, if you expect these XML processors to interoperate,
> >the easiest approach is to use some "pernicious" concepts
> >from real world systems.  Your sponsors are already doing that.
> Sure. Why don't we use raw TeX for markup too? It does better text layout
> than any of these crappy browsers. The prevelance of bad solutions does not
> make them less bad. 

Could be.  It's a nice safe academic position.  Hell on someone selling 
systems though, and hell on those who have to use them.  HTML won 
because it was easy.  Some folks have made that point to me too 
many times to forget it.

> XML is about data representation. XML stylesheets are
> about coupling operations semantics to representations.

XML is about a standard syntax for enabling designers to write 
quick and dirty application languages and parsers.  XML stylesheets do 
not exist, nor do they have to.  You want them to, and you want 
them to be something you like, but I am not bound by that nor is XML.
At least, not yet.
>    XML linking should also be about representation. This is not deep, just
> tacking labels on, and co-indexing executable functions to the labels later
> on. It's a good idea for links for the same reason that it is a good idea
> for texts.

Goto(label).  Considered pretty weak even in C.
> SGML/XML markup is just about ataching labels, and letting the processor
> take care of itself. This does not always make life easier in the short
> run. I can get better results quickly with a word-processor than an SGML
> system.

Right.  So?
>    It should be no surprise if linking were to show similar phenomena. I
> think that a XML version of HTML (with example stylesheets to make it work)
> will provide the simple semantics for simple needs.

No doubt about it.  The trick will be to get a user who never had 
to write a stylesheet before to do <font></> to do it now:  for the
>     In linking as with document structure, XML will have much more under
> the hood for the long term.

Two blank eyes stare back from under the hood of the robe of 
academic theory.  They see... a 1970 database where a millenium 
object-oriented system should be.  The poverty...ahh, the poverty.