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ERB meeting of Feb. 12th



The ERB met Feb. 12th.  Present were Bosak, Bray, Clark, DeRose, Magliery,
Maler, Paoli.  All decisions were unanimous.

1. The title of the spec will be "Hypertext Links in XML".  There will
be no new acronym, XHL or XHA or anything.  The URL fragment will be
WD-xml-link.  The URL fragment for the XML syntax spec will be
WD-xml-syntax.  The URL fragment WD-xml will point to a tiny document
just containing pointers to WD-xml-link, WD-xml-syntax, and presumably
at least one more part in the future.

2. Links will be expressed as XML elements.  We will write the spec
so that the only other spec it depends on is xml-syntax.  Obviously,
links will be SGML elements as well.

3. We deferred the question of a link processor until we have more of
the spec done; if we need to define a link processor in order to meet
our specification goals, we will.

4. We deferred the question of a mechanism for signaling what link
machinery is being used until we know what machinery is available.

5. We decided that formatting issues are outside the scope of XML linking,
and we will neither discuss them nor provide a special attribute nor
any other machinery in this specification for communicating formatting
information.  Note that we fully appreciate that the distinction between
formatting and behavior is troublesome at best; this decision does not
prejudice the possibility that XML links may contain behavior attributes
and that the spec may predefine certain behaviors.  In the ERB discussion
it became obvious that lots more work is needed on this particular area.

6. We agreed that if we say that the links are elements and attributes,
this provides all the syntax definition that we need; thus no additional
BNF is required in the specification.  [Ed note: Yes!]

7. We agreed that no special language is required in the spec to say
that the links must be well-formed in the XML sense.  While this spec
is primarily designed for use in the XML domain, there seems nothing
to gain in placing barriers in the way of full SGML processors that
may wish to use this machinery in non-well-formed documents.

8. We spent the rest of the meeting arguing over details of terminology,
without coming to a resolution; an additional meeting has been scheduled
for Saturday morning [yecch] to enable us to finish working through this
and the remaining 1.* questions.

Cheers, Tim Bray
tbray@textuality.com http://www.textuality.com/ +1-604-708-9592