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Topology: XLink CR03062000

From: Hartmut Obendorf <hartmut@obendorf.de>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 09:06:48 -0000
To: <www-xml-linking-comments@w3.org>
Message-ID: <LPBBKJNMAJPPLFOGMFKKIEBHCBAA.hartmut@obendorf.de>
Good Morning,

I would like to add a third posting to explain one of the reasons I
feel "complex links" (with more than one arc) to be important and
why I think this should be mentioned somewhere (if not in the spec 

One of the main problems of browsing applications for the W3 is the
missing predictability of outgoing links. Supplying additional 
information such as file size/types, in-site vs. out-site location
etc. could be collected with HTML links. But one thing that is very
difficult to extract is the topology of links.

Let me state an example first: Rsrc D, E and F share a common idea, 
they are linked serially. Now Rsrc A has something in common with
Rsrc E (both are vocals) so it is linked to E. There is no way of
extracting the information that D, E and F are related, while A, E
and F are not (that is, A and F are not).


  | A |
  +---+  +---+  +---+
  | D |--| E |--| F |
  +---+  +---+  +---+

If, instead of HTML anchors, XLinks were used to link the resources,
one XLink could contain the whole chain of arcs D-E-F (the other link
would just contain an arc from A to E). So, it would be very easy to
find out that D-E-F and A-E are closely related while A-F are not.

This idea can be easily extended to keep structures like chains,
rings or whole hierarchies in one link, thus providing structural 
"outlink information" that could be used for users to improve the
predictability of link targets.

Of course, this will not be new to you, but isn't it important enough
to mention it somewhere?

Just a thought,

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

  May the source be with you - always.
Received on Tuesday, 7 November 2000 03:08:01 UTC

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