W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > January 1997

Re: Relationship Taxonomy Questions

From: Terry Allen <tallen@fsc.fujitsu.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 07:33:12 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <199701231533.HAA24398@ishtar.fsc.fujitsu.com>
To: papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca, tallen@fsc.fujitsu.com
Cc: eliot@isogen.com, w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
Paul Prescod wrote:
| > ?  I need to be able to specify the behaviors that Len's MID example
| > did (and did quite independently from its specification of relationships):
| > 
| >   traversal ( gosub | spawn | goto ) 
| > 
| > I need to know those behaviors will work interoperably, and I cannot
| > rely on applications that "provide their own behavior specification".
| > If the ERB thinks that's going to work, I ask it to reconsider.  And
| > I need whatever syntax is required to support specification of
| > those behaviors (perhaps none at all).  I can already specify 
| > relationship labels if I wish.
| You need to be able to make a gosub happen, just as document authors need
| to be able to make a "large heading" happen. But "the SGML way" (as you know
| better than anyone) is to think about the structure of the document before
| thinking about the "formatting behaviours" you intend to apply to it. Why
| not the same with linking behaviours?

I need to be sure it happens, and mapping behavior to some label
on a element is only one way to do it.  There is more than one SGML
way to skin a cat.

And in response to Jon's clear statement, I certainly don't want to 
forbid him from taking this approach, and there is nothing in XML 1.0
to prevent him from using it, but I don't want to be *required* to use it.

Put another way, I need to be able to bind link behavior to my document,
and I want to be able to describe relationships  that do not map
to behaviors.

| If we follow the formatting analogy to its conclusion, linking would be
| done by a processing specification, (stylesheet) just as formatting is.
| Which would mean that linking behaviour is part of our next section, not
| this one. (Maybe...the definition of stylesheet is vague enough to do it now 
| or then).
| > The user cannot change the semantics of an HTTP URL, nor can he change
| > the semantics of HTML's A element.  
| Semantics, no. Behaviour yes. A user could specify that "A" links are green,
| intead of blue. 

That is the rendering of the text  content of the link, not the 
behavior we were talking about.

| And when they are clicked on they are downloaded, but not
| displayed. 

If part of my document's text is included through a link, *and the
document is being displayed*, the included text must be displayed when 
downloaded so as to display the full text as I intended it, complete 
with safety warnings, etc.  Else I can't rely on my data format to
convey my content, and the XML format is useless for practical
purposes, however interesting it may be for hypertext theory.

| In fact a web walker is a "user agent" that *does* implement
| link behaviour significantly different than a browser.

It doesn't display any link behavior or the underlying document to 
the user, however.

| >If XML specifies 
| > 
| >   traversal ( gosub | spawn | goto ) 
| > 
| > and that XML apps have to respect those semantics to be conformant,
| > the user will not be able to change the behavior of my document
| > in an XML app.  
| But what about the web-walker? Web-downloader? Search agent? Aren't those
| user agents? Can't they change the behaviour? What about tools that show
| you tables of contents for documents and their links. Can't I randomly

They have to distinguish beween traversal and inclusion links, else
they can't represent the  document properly, even in outline.  Note 
that we don't have text inclusion in HTML.

| choose a document from my "site link map" rather than going through a page
| and executing the "goto?"

Your site link map is not my XML document.  

    Terry Allen    Fujitsu Software Corp.    tallen@fsc.fujitsu.com
"In going on with these experiments, how many pretty systems do we build,
 which we soon find outselves obliged to destroy?" - Benjamin Franklin
  A Davenport Group Sponsor:  http://www.ora.com/davenport/index.html
Received on Thursday, 23 January 1997 10:33:46 UTC

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