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Re: Relationship Taxonomy Questions

From: W. Eliot Kimber <eliot@isogen.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 10:16:49 -0900
Message-Id: <>
To: Terry Allen <tallen@fsc.fujitsu.com>, papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca, tallen@fsc.fujitsu.com
Cc: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
At 07:33 AM 1/23/97 -0800, Terry Allen wrote:
>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.

But nothing in this proposal prevents any of that.  Your link types can be
as general or as specific as you like.  By the same token, the application
of behavior need not take link types into account.  For example, Panorama
gives you *no mechanism* for conditioning link behavior based on type:
anything that's a HyTime clink behaves in exactly the same way.  HyBrowse,
by contrast, provides a default behavior for all links, but lets you
further condition behavior based on types and roles within types.  DynaText
lets you do any damn thing you want, including giving hyperlink behavior to
elements that were not originally intended to be hyperlinks.

All we're saying is that we don't want XML's link representation scheme to
be *limited* to behavior-only links.  We also recognize two facts:

1. Most people familiar with linking are not familiar with the use of typed
   links, because most systems either don't provide or support types at all
   or the support for types is weak or inconsistently implemented (e.g.,
   the Web).

2. The use of typed links is a potentially very powerful information 
   representation technique (witness relational databases) that adds
   significant added value to the use of SGML (and by extension, XML).

Given these two facts, we presume that it would be a useful service of XML
to both provide a well-defined and robust means of defining typed links and
provide a starter set of such types to demonstrate their utility and power
to the unaware.

That doesn't mean that every link has to be a well-thought-out type and
more than every element type in an XML DTD has be completely descriptive of
its content. 


W. Eliot Kimber (eliot@isogen.com) 
Senior SGML Consulting Engineer, Highland Consulting
2200 North Lamar Street, Suite 230, Dallas, Texas 75202
+1-214-953-0004 +1-214-953-3152 fax
http://www.isogen.com (work) http://www.drmacro.com (home)
"Rats in the morning, rats in the afternoon...if they don't go away, I'll be
re-educated soon..."                 --Austin Lounge Lizards, "1984 Blues"
Received on Thursday, 23 January 1997 11:19:36 UTC

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