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Re: Is XML-Link Rocket Science?

From: len bullard <cbullard@hiwaay.net>
Date: Sat, 08 Feb 1997 20:15:08 -0600
Message-ID: <32FD332C.4599@hiwaay.net>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Jon Bosak wrote:
> I'm not sure that it's realistic to expect the mlinks ever to be easy
> to understand right off the bat, because what they are expressing are
> relational structures that are difficult to fathom regardless of the
> syntax.  If mlinks are to do their job, it will always be possible to
> create structures that only a rocket scientist will understand.  But
> in the area of the tlinks I feel confident that we will be able to
> produce something not much harder to understand than the HTML <A>
> link, and we ought to be able to create an mlink syntax that ordinary
> people can use to express simple associations.  

I second Jon on this issue.  Again, from watching the VRML experience, 
it was very rough sledding to master the complexities of 3D animation 
given only the specification.  I have been a reviewer for the 
annotated 2.0 version and was already proficient with the 1.0 
version.  It was still tough.  However, as soon (and even before) 
the actual specification was published, books were hitting the shelves 
that made it possible to master by example.  So, I think while 
XML will be straightforward for those who are SGML literate and 
understand hypermedia, for many, these concepts will require 
hands-on experience.  We can work as hard as we can to make 
it clear in the spec, but the spec should err on the side of 
being unambiguous particularly for implementors.  The *average user* 
(whoever that is) will master XML through the tools.

> Implementing mlinks is
> another matter, but that's something that will probably have to be
> left to the rocket scientists anyway.

I live in a town full of them.  Don't hold your breath. ;-)

> Jon
Received on Saturday, 8 February 1997 21:15:03 UTC

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