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Arch Doc: New section on embedding links in representations

From: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 14:43:41 -0400
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <87ptldkgma.fsf@nwalsh.com>

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Here is my first draft of text for the new section 4.5:

Hyperlinks in Representations

One of the greatest strengths of HTML as a resource representation is
the ability to embed cross references (links) inside it. The
simplicity of <a href="#foo"> as a link to "foo" and <a name="foo"> as
the anchor "foo" are partly (perhaps largely) responsible for the birth
of the hypertext Web as we know it today.

Simple, single-ended, single-direction, inline links are not the most
powerful linking paradigm imaginable. But they are very easy to
understand. And they can be authored by individuals (or other agents)
that have no control or even access to the other end point.

More sophisticated linking mechanisms have been invented for the web.
XPointer allows links to address content that does not have an
explicit, named anchor. XLink allows links to have multiple ends and
to be expressed either inline or in "link bases" stored external to
any or all of the resources identified by the links it contains.

All of the current common linking mechanisms identify resources by URI
and optionally identify portions (or views) of a resource with the
fragment identifier. The almost universal appeal of linking between
resources suggests that:

  Inventors of new representation formats SHOULD provide mechanisms
  for identifying links to other resources. Representation formats based
  on XML SHOULD examine XPointer and XLink for inspiration.

The common need to point into a resource, that is, to identify some
portion of its content (or some view of its content) besides the
entire, monolithic resource suggests that:

  Inventors of new representation formats SHOULD provide mechanisms
  for identifying portions of their format. This can most often be achieved
  by describing the fragment identifier syntax for the media type
  that identifies their resource format. Representation formats based
  on XML may find that it is sufficient to allow authors to identify
  elements by ID.

                                        Be seeing you,
                                          norm

- -- 
Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM    | Look for the ridiculous in everything and you
XML Standards Architect | will find it.--Jules Renard
Web Tech. and Standards |
Sun Microsystems, Inc.  | 
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Received on Monday, 16 June 2003 15:36:01 GMT

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