Re: 1.5: Discuss link characteristics?

At 5:42 PM 2/11/97, len bullard wrote:
>Steven J. DeRose wrote:
>> I find that tempting, but a bit too strong. There are at least a few cases
>> where the destination depends on other factors, such as implicit links,
>> links that depend on user configuration or environment data, etc. Take a
>> look at any IETM, or any expert-system-assisted maintenance manual, or
>> anything that supports stretchtext.

Well, much as I hate to disagree with steve, I think we should either not
accomodate such needs, or hedge them with restrictions if we do accomodate

We should not allow turing-complete languages for determining link destinations.

I won't repeat the arguments, but it is clear that web-analysis software is
a growth industry. We should make it easier, not harder. Computable links
make it harder, and are pretty _unnecessary_ on the web, as far as I've

>Right.  Depends on the application.   The problem of XML link
>(and every dammed hypertext standard anyone has tried to
>create to date) is that we can't put a hotspot/clink/meatball
>(you choose) in running text, expect it to act as a control,
>look like a bold font, and pretend to be "just another declaration".

Yes. All of those properties should be separately specified, not encoded in
the document.
>Action="gosub" is "pernicious" but action="submit" is somehow Ok?

They're both pernicious -- but we have to live with microbes and viruses as
well as macro-fauna...

>Picking victims again aren't we?  One can declare a process, or process
>a declaration.  SGML doesn't care.  XML shouldn't either.

Yes, but SGML provides no _special_ facilities for processing. This was the
point, and I've yet to see any pratical or theoretical reason to abondon
this for linking when we agree that it is a good idea for other
presentation features.

   -- David

David Durand              dgd@cs.bu.edu  \  david@dynamicDiagrams.com
Boston University Computer Science        \  Sr. Analyst
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