Re: 4.b Links pointing at links?

Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com> wrote:

> 4.b What should we say about the situation when a linking element points
> at a resource which is another linking element?

Please rephrase this question; it makes no sense at all to me.

Perhaps I am hopelessly confused, but as I understand XML-LINK, a
linking element does not "point at" anything at all.  Links contain
locators (either as attributes or as subelements, that seems still
to be up in the air), and _locators_ point at resources.

(Below I'll use the terminology in the 26-Jan-1997 XHL draft, since I'm
not sure what vocabulary is in vogue this week :-)

Now if a locator 'A' points to another locator 'B', I think the
most sensible and useful interpretation would be indirection:
the referent of 'A' should be resolved to whatever 'B' points to
(and so on recursively, with the usual caveat that cycles are
deemed illegal).  This is assuming we decide to use locator
elements instead of (or in addition to) locator attributes,
since the latter are unaddressable in any of the addressing
schemes proposed so far.

If a link 'L' has as one of its anchors an element 'M' denoting
an in-line link (HyTime: "clink"), then the link-end should resolve
to 'M'; it should *not* follow the second link.  Otherwise
HTML-ers who are used to using <A NAME="here" HREF="#there">...</A>
will be in for a surprise...

If a link has as one of its anchors an out-of-line link (with
any number of link-ends), that situation seems to me sufficiently
bizarre that the spec should say nothing at all, leaving its
interpretation entirely up to the application.

--Joe English