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Re: XHTML & hyperlinking opinions (long, sorry)

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Fri, 04 Oct 2002 13:52:34 -0700
Message-ID: <3D9DFF92.8040706@textuality.com>
To: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>
Cc: WWW-Tag <www-tag@w3.org>

Champion, Mike wrote:

>>1. If you want to extend XHTML to do any of the three things 
>>that XLink  claims to be designed to do, then XLink is a good way to do
>> it.
> I'm curious as to why you believe that so strongly.

I reviewed the XLink spec, and I thought about how I'd go about 
designing markup for multi-ended and out-of-band links, and I thought 
XLink presented a pretty compelling design for how you'd do those things.

I think disagreement should be accompanied by examples: "here's a better 
way to do a multi-ended/out-of-band/metadata-loaded hyperlink, and 
here's why it's better."

>>2. This would be a good direction to extend XHTML in.
> Why is it more important for XHTML to migrate in the direction of generic
> XML rather than for generic XML to incorporate the linking mechanism of
> XHTML 1.x?

I don't accept that reformulation of what I said.  I observe all sorts 
of people faking multi-ended hyperlinks with all sorts of non-obvious 
non-portable javascript hacks, and I deduce from this that if they 
there, they would be put to good use right away.

I also have bitter personal experience in maintaining HTML linkage 
networks in the presence of updates and think that if I had an 
out-of-band linkbase capability it would make those problems way easier.

I said nothing about "generic XML", whatever that means.

>>- Having said that, it is *my* intuition that if a major 
>>browser vendor  had implemented multi-ended extended 
> I think I agree.  But to me the interesting question is *why* XLink has
> gotten such a tepid (to hostile) reception outside the W3C itself. Why the
> only browser vendor with any market share didn't implement XLink is a
> question that in principle a number of people in Redmond WA could answer for
> us ... I don't suppose anyone wants to take a shot at it, eh?  :-)

I think Microsoft, like every technology vendor, is busy and short of 
staff.  Right at the moment there's not much market advantage for 
microsoft to pour heavy amounts of investment and creativity into 
enhancing the web browser, a product which brings no revenue and wins no 
  market share. -Tim
Received on Friday, 4 October 2002 16:52:37 UTC

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