Re: elm alternate linking proposal
At 03:31 PM 2/5/97 -0500, Eve L. Maler wrote:
>I've been working on an alternate proposal...
There is nothing in Eve's proposal (hereinafter ELP) with which I can bring
myself to disagree violently.
I *think* that the design choices in ELP can all be decided on within the
question/voting framework I published last week; but it is certainly a good
idea for Eve to have trotted out the whole ELP framework so that we can
get the context for the positions she will doubtless be endorsing.
A couple of detailed design comments:
- In general I support less-is-more. But I doubt that we're going to be
able to get away with doing *nothing* on the issues of explainers,
terminus-roles, and behavior/formatting metadata. It is absolutely
dead certain that people are going to put this stuff in their links;
at the very least we should probably give them a standard place to
put it. On the other hand, I'm starting to be convinced that locsrc
is more trouble than it's worth.
- I'm not sure we want to embrace the whole power of archforms to the
extent of allowing attribute name overrides; not that another level
of indirection isn't always a good idea, it just makes it a bit
harder to explain. I think in XML, we have gotten good mileage out
of nuking everything that was in the slightest hard to explain. It's
*so* easy to explain, "once you've figured out that this thing is an
MLINK, then here are the attributes and here's what they mean." Also
the tokenized attribute saying "consider this attribute to be that
attribute" feels kind of klunky to me.
- A design principle I realized I had used implicitly without writing it
down was: you should be able to extract all the linking information with
just an XML processor and nothing else. This is why in the initial
draft proposal, there is no case in which you have to tokenize
an attribute string. This is just an invitation to problems in the
i18n arena; and furthermore, I've always thought that the base principle
of SGML was that you should take things that are supposed to be
separate, and separate them with markup. This explains my discomfort
with the ELP "xmlnames" attribute mechanism.
Cheers, Tim Bray
firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.textuality.com/ +1-604-708-9592