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RE: [WD XHTML 2.0 ] why not use xlink

From: Jelks Cabaniss <jelks@jelks.nu>
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 00:25:15 -0400
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000501c24b26$3f3f2ae0$6701a8c0@blackie>

Bill Daly wrote:

> So then they are willing to forego the benefits of
> Xlink because "href" looks better than "xlink:href"?

"Smells better" is more like it. ...

You might want to take a look at:


    However, sometime in 1999, Xlink stopped describing linking,
    and started being it. This is a major change, because all of
    a sudden you are forced to change your documents if you want
    to use Xlink, even though the current Xlink draft still
    claims it is a requirement that documents not need to be

    Another result of the change from description to namespace
    is there is no way you can use it to describe the millions
    of pages that are already on the Web; nor can you use it
    after the fact when you realise that something can usefully
    be a link, even though up to now it hasn't. For instance, a
    travel application may have documents with elements of the

    <train from="London" to="Paris"/>

    or a calendar application may have elements of the form:

    <event start="2000-04-21" end="2000-04-24">Easter</event>

    Later it might occur to the designers that the 'from' and
    'to' attributes or the 'start' and 'end' attributes, could
    usefully be links, pointing to a description of the day, or
    of the city. With link *description* all you need to do is
    add this fact to the description; your documents remain
    unchanged. With a linking namespace, you would have to go
    and change all documents.

The big problem is the current "recommended" way to tie XLink to "href".
One should be able to say "href" IS a link (XLink or even another kind)
-- without having to resort to "xlink:href".  See ...


and -- especially -- the link given in that message.

One should peruse this month's XML-DEV archives for *lots* of discussion
on this very topic[1].  Bottom line:

  1) Namespaces were rushed through despite heavy protest -- primarily
to make RDF "work"

  2) Now -- four years later -- a revolt is finally starting to brew
over this, uh, "feature"

So, don't blame the HTML WG; they didn't create this mess.

[1] Just a few samples:


...but there are *lots* more there, some unfortunately hidden in rather
non-obvious thread subjects.

Received on Saturday, 24 August 2002 00:25:37 UTC

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