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Re: Use of 'link' header in HTTP

From: James Clark <jjc@jclark.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 20:15:55 +0700
Message-ID: <36F8E58B.419C0012@jclark.com>
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
CC: XML Syntax WG <w3c-xml-syntax-wg@w3.org>, www-xml-stylesheet-comments@w3.org
I've ben slow to respond to your comment on the xml-stylesheet PR, for
which I apologise.  You wrote:

> I think we'll have another comment on linking in XML, but there's
> another minor problem:
> 
> http://www.w3.org/TR/PR-xml-stylesheet says:
> 
> 
> # HTTP [RFC2068], section 19.6.2.4, allows stylesheets to be
> # associated with XML documents by means of the Link header.
> # Any links specified by HTTP Link headers are considered to
> # occur before the links specified by the xml-stylesheet processing
> # instructions. This is the same as in HTML 4.0 (see section 14.6).
> 
> However, the 'link' header in HTTP has been removed from the
> Draft Standard, as it was not widely implemented and its
> semantics were not specified. See
> ftp://ftp.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-http-v11-spec-rev-06.txt
> 
> I suggest you just remove references to the HTTP 'link' header.

The WG discussed your comment, but felt it was undesirable to remove the
reference to RFC 2068.

The PR is not saying that people should or must use the HTTP 'link'
header; it is merely explaining what the semantics of the xml-stylesheet
PI are if people should choose to use the HTTP 'link' header.  Even
though the 'link' header is going to be removed from HTTP, the current
RFC for HTTP still contains it, and the possibility exists that people
will want to use the xml-stylesheet PI in conjunction with the 'link'
header; therefore in order to fully specify the semantics of the
xml-stylesheet PI, its interaction with the HTTP 'link' header needs to
be specified.

The consensus in the WG was that an HTTP-based mechanism for stylesheet
linking was needed in addition to a PI-based mechanism. Assuming the
'link' header goes away, some other solution will need to be found to
replace it.  Once that has been done, then the xml-stylesheet spec can
be updated to refer to this (along with the HTML 4.0 spec). But there
isn't time to develop such a replacement before the xml-stylesheet spec
goes out.  Simply removing the reference would make it seem like the WG
didn't see any need for HTTP-based linking mechanisms.

James
Received on Wednesday, 24 March 1999 08:17:49 GMT

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