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Semantics Attributes: XLink CR03062000

From: Hartmut Obendorf <hartmut@obendorf.de>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 22:05:41 -0000
To: <www-xml-linking-comments@w3.org>
Message-ID: <LPBBKJNMAJPPLFOGMFKKOEBECBAA.hartmut@obendorf.de>

In this second posting I would like to ask a few questions about the
semantics of XLinks.

What I would like to question is the use of "role" and "title" in the
spec. As I am not a native speaker, I looked up role in Merriam
Websters Dictionary:

Main Entry: role
Variant(s): also rôle /'rOl/
Function: noun
Etymology: French rôle, literally, roll, from Old French rolle
Date: 1606
1 : [a] : (1) : a character assigned or assumed (2) : a socially
    expected behavior pattern usually determined by an individual's
    status in a particular society
    [b] : a part played by an actor or singer
2 : a function or part performed especially in a particular operation
    or process <played a major role in the negotiations>
3 : an identifier attached to an index term to show functional
    relationships between terms

I would assume that definition 2 is one that applies to the use of
role in the spec.

Now, what for what types of elements is role used?
  a) extended
  b) simple
  c) locator
  d) resource

As I mentioned in my previous posting, I don't understand the use of
role for a link-as-a-whole (a). What is the part and what it the
process here?

But, more important, I find it hard to understand (c) and (d) as well.
As I understand it, a link is static. Therefore there is no process in
the link itself, the only process associated with it is the traversal
from one resource (or locator) to another resource (or locator).

Since there is no process in the link itself, are the "roles" in the
spec not rather "types" of resources?

The only thing I would readily acknowledge as a role is the description
of the meaning of an arc within the link. Here, the process of traversal
from one resource (or locator) to another resource (or locator) is
described. But this is the only attribute _not_ called "role", instead
the spec calls it "arcrole".

Once more to overcome my difficulties with verbaliation:
The link defines an environment in which relationships are described.
These types of relationships could be called roles. The spec calls not
only the relationships (given by the arcs) "roles", but also uses "role"
for explanatory definitions of participating resources.

The main point given, here is another small question: What is the
meaning of the "title" attribute for everything but the arc? Along the
same lines as mentioned above, I don't find a proper answer. Titles would
almost always carry information about the type of a resource, not about
its role in the current link (which would be different for another link).

If the example in 5.2 "Simple link functionality done with an extended
link" is correct, the most important title for a link (the only one left
in simple links) would be the title for the target locator. As I pointed
out before, I would have thought the main feature describing the
semantic relationship is the attribute "arcrole".

I would argue that the title of the arc is more important than the

Hope this wasn't too scatterbrained..


  Hartmut Obendorf                                 hartmut@obendorf.de
  Graduate student
  Division of Informatics
  University of Hamburg

  May the source be with you - always.
Received on Monday, 6 November 2000 16:06:25 UTC

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