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

Re: 3.1 b-h: BEHAVIOR



This is a somewhat general contribution to the behaviour of links which
I hope the ERB can extract something useful from.

<PREAMBLE>
I have just been at a conference in Germany on informatics in science
organised by the Ministry and some general points may be interesting.
Apart from myself two people were intending to use XML, one an innovative
learned society publisher, and the other a creator of WWW indexes from
metadata.  In addition, another speaker from a well-known hypermedia
projects emphasised the importance of  publishing _collections of links_ as
primary publications.  (And I gave a plug for XML :-).
</PREAMBLE>

The point I want to make is that XML opens up *new* opportunities and it is
importance not to restrict these.  In the case of links, I want to use these
features in particular:
	- documents which consists solely of links.
	- links which point to several resources.
	- links as a means of adding structure to complex 'documents'
My understanding of AUTO/REPLACE is that it is what is needed if
the role of a link is as an invisible 'switch' linking a single input
to several outputs.  For example I might have a button which lights up
a map and (separately) a timetable (through a double-ended pointer).  If,
however, I wanted to highlight several positions on the map and the 
corresponding entries in the timetable (which might appear as separate
windows) I might need an intermediate set of links to expand this signal.
(This may be a contrived example, my real requirement is in molecular
applications).  Even though XML is designed for use over the WWW, it should
not be assumed that a link always points at a (graphical) display.  Indeed,
if it has to, I shall be disappointed as it has a very important role in
helping to define the data structures of 'documents' (used in a very 
wide sense).
	Hope this makes sense

	P.

-- 
Peter Murray-Rust, domestic net connection
Virtual School of Molecular Sciences
http://www.vsms.nottingham.ac.uk/