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Re: TAG Comments on XHTML 2.0 and HLink

From: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 10:58:37 -0400
Message-Id: <p04330100b9b8cf81fd9c@[192.168.254.4]>
To: shane@aptest.com, www-tag@w3.org

At 9:20 AM -0500 9/26/02, Shane McCarron wrote:


>[Speaking as the principal editor on XHTML 2.0 and other XHTML
>specifications]
>
>The HTML Working Group has demonstrated that XLink is manifestly
>inadequate for the needs of the community we are trying to serve.

No, you have not. I've read your documents, and I'm not convinced. 
Perhaps you have a good and valid point, but if so you haven't made 
it convincingly yet. Perhaps you can make your argument more 
persuasively than you have to date.

>Our constituents, the millions of people who author and maintain web
>pages,
>cannot be expected to throw out their knowledge base that is HTML 4 and
>XHTML 1.

This is the least convincing part of your argument. XHTML 2.0 asks 
page authors to do exactly that. It is backwards incompatible with 
HTML. Why you think linking must be compatible when frames, images, 
and more aren't, I just don't understand. If backwards compatibility 
were an explicit goal of XHTML 2, then I could see your point.

>Nor can they be required to use a bunch of arcane attributes
>on every linking element just because there is some approved W3C
>Recommendation that is sort of in this space that _could_ be used.
>(Note: I am fully aware that XHTML 2.0 is not fully backward compatible
>with XHTML 1.1.  However, the HTML Working Group follows "the principle
>of least surprise" with our evolution of HTML, and breaking every link
>in
>every document as people were trying to migrate them to XHTML 2.0 would
>be very surprising indeed.)

I am not convinced it is necessary to "use a bunch of arcane attributes
on every linking element". So far, it still seems to me to be 
possible to stick with xlink:href and element/GI defined semantics.

>XLink has never addressed the requirements of XHTML.  The XLink working
>group chose to ignore our last call comments, and chose not to support
>the requirements that were in their own original goals for their
>recommendation.  The W3C Advisory Committee recognized this two years
>ago and clearly indicated there should be a more friendly approach to
>linking semantics that would not require they be explicitly described on
>every link in every document.

If you were able to demonstrate a need for these requirements, then 
this point would be relevant. But so far, I am unconvinced that HTML 
needs multiple link attributes on a single start-tag, or that it 
needs them to be named something other than what they are named in 
XLink.

-- 

+-----------------------+------------------------+-------------------+
| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
+-----------------------+------------------------+-------------------+
|          XML in a  Nutshell, 2nd Edition (O'Reilly, 2002)          |
|              http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/xian2/              |
|  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0596002920/cafeaulaitA/  |
+----------------------------------+---------------------------------+
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://www.cafeaulait.org/      |
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Received on Thursday, 26 September 2002 11:01:27 GMT

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