[Prev][Next][Index][Thread]

Re: ERB decisions on the LINKTYPE proposal



> So in fact, I still don't really see the use. I read the "nutshell"
> description several times, but I still have not seen any use for the
> mechanism that an external stylesheet sould not satisfy better. 

You can use LINK as an algorithmic, declarative mechanism for describing 
one DTD in terms of another. You can do something similar with a 
transformation engine (e.g. STTP), but there are two problems with that:

a) if it is a half-way decent transformation engine, then you will run into 
the problem that transformations could fail to terminate. (imagine waiting
a LONG time for your text-to-speech tool to start reading your document...)

b) the link between a Instance->Parser->Input Grove->STTP Script->Output Grove 
seems much less direct than DTD->Praser->Output Grove. I don't just mean 
direct in steps, but in the semantic connection: if a document conforms to 
an architectural form, all information about that conformance should be
in the document, not in an associated STTP script. In other words: 
archform conformance should be the job of the parser, not of a whole 
system of tools.

I am not prescribing archforms and LINK for XML. But if they really are
useful in SGML, and are going to become more popular now that SP supports
them, then it makes sense to define XML features in terms of them for
all of the regular reasons for trying to stay SGML conformant. It is also
possible that XML 2.0 might support archforms, because Web-users are 
going to butt their heads against all of the same problems we have of 
trying to standardize DTDs and yet model documents "tightly". I have 
always hoped that archforms and LINK would be the solution to those
problems, but have not had a chance yet to try them out in SP.

 Paul Prescod


References: