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Title elements

From: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 19:14:18 -0700
Message-ID: <396A82FA.80AD6583@metalab.unc.edu>
To: xlxp-dev@fsc.fujitsu.com
Cc: www-xml-linking-comments@w3.org
The latest July 3 XLink candidate recommendation introduces title type
elements as a supplement to xlink:title attributes. I'm really not sure
they're necessary or useful in practice, and I'd like to propose
simplifying XLink by deleting all reference to title type attributes.

Here's my reasoning: Since semantics of child elements of XLink elements
like arc and locator elements, including title type elements are
application defined, why not just leave this up the application?
Applications can decide what is and is not a title for an XLink element
on an appication by application basis. Since the spec doesn't provide a
syntax for title type elements, applications require application-level
logic to figure out what to do with titles anyway. 

Furthermore, allowing title elements requires XLink processors to go one
level further down the tree in an extended link. It seems cleaner to say
that only immediate children of the extended link element can have any
possible implications for the extended link, with no exceptions. As it
is now title type elements may appear as grandchildren of the extended
link element, the only such grandchildren elements. 

The one use case given in the CR is "One common motivation for using the
title-type element is to account for internationalization and
localization. For example, title markup might be necessary for
bidirectional contexts or in East Asian languages, and multiple titles
might be necessary for different natural-language versions of a title."
I suspect this could be done with non-XLink defined markup anyway, but
if XLink markup is really required then this should limit the content of
a title element to #PCDATA, same as the single title attribute it's
subbing for. 

But mostly, since there's no syntax defined for the title type elements,
applications will need to define their own semantics anyway; and they
could do this just as easily with elements that were not defined in the
XLink specification. I just don't see what title type elements bring to
the party. 

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|               Java I/O (O'Reilly & Associates, 1999)               |
|            http://metalab.unc.edu/javafaq/books/javaio/            |
|   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=1565924851/cafeaulaitA/   |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://metalab.unc.edu/javafaq/ | 
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Received on Monday, 10 July 2000 19:19:21 UTC

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