W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > August 2002

XHTML 2.0 and Xlinks (again)

From: Lachlan Cannon <luminosity@members.evolt.org>
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002 21:40:10 +1000
Message-ID: <3D564D1A.7000208@members.evolt.org>
To: www-html@w3.org

Sorry to bring up this topic again, but I fail to see why XHTML 2.0 
isn't using Xlinks.

a) If you're going to break backwards compatibility you should do it 
right -- that is change everything you're going to change, everything 
that should be changed so you don't have to do it again anytime soon.

b) From [1]:

"You should use xlink whenever your application is one of hypertext 
linking, as xlink functionality such as power to control user interface 
behavior on link traversal is useful and should be implemented in a 
standard way to allow interoperability."

I don't see a more user interface language than HTML, since documents 
are meant to be viewed only by humans.

c) From [2]:

"When an application uses functionality which is within the scope of 
Xlink, it should use xlink. To do otherwise breaks the principle that we 
are trying to make an interoperable web."

"Paul Cotton and David Orchard pointed out on a TAG call (2002/6/17) 
that the scope of Xlink is hypertext linking. A motivation for XLink was 
to give to languages for human documents a much richer form of hypertext 
than HTML, with features which had in fact been used in hypertext 
products for many years before the web."

Again, HTML is the most human oriented language I can think of.

d) Why is the W3C using time and resources creating specifications such 
as Xlinks if they're not even going to use them. To create more than one 
method for doing the exact same thing seems to be, quite frankly, 
stupid, and a waste of money.

e) Extending just hrefs to the global attribute set doesn't make sense. 
You lose all the extended semantic attributes which the a element 
possesses and which Xlinks possess. If you're going to XLinks you can 
give everyone the chance to develop one single set of definitions for 
links and use that single set. If you keep linking fragmented then it is 
much harder to keep the different semanticisms current with each other, 
something which I would think would be important to avoid with all the 
current focus on the Semantic Web.

f) It doesn't even have to be harder to implement links than it 
currently is. Set xlinks by default to be a simple link so that people 
only have to type xlink:href and they get the same functionality as they 
would with current hrefs -- not exactly hard. Meanwhile it's easier for 
people who want the advanced features and semanticisms of Xlinks to be 
able to redefine the other attributes to use them.

I believe that XHTML could greatly benefit from the includsion of Xlinks 
to replace the current HTML links, without being any harder to use than 
it currently is. Why wouldn't you go with something that can be much 
more powerful when people are ready for it, but easy to slip into?

[1] http://www.w3.org/2002/07/01-tag-summary.html#xlinkScope-23
[2] http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/XLink.html
Web: http://illuminosity.net/
E-mail: lach@illuminosity.net
MSN: luminosity @ members.evolt.org
Received on Sunday, 11 August 2002 07:40:45 UTC

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