W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > July 2002

Re: xlink:href

From: Steven Pemberton <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 15:03:40 +0200
Message-ID: <00d201c22cc9$35d64a40$2002a8c0@srx41p>
To: "Tim Bray" <tbray@textuality.com>
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>, "Paul Prescod" <paul@prescod.net>

From: "Tim Bray" <tbray@textuality.com>

> Just to clarify the history, there was a substantial and never-resolved
> disagreement between the XLink and HTML WGs.
> The HTML WG read the XLink charter to mean that XLink should be designed
> so that HTML links as they currently exist could automatically be
> treated as XLinks based on external declarations, for example in the DTD.

It wasn't the XLink charter that lead the HTML WG to believe this, but the
XLink requirements document http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-xlink-req/, in
particular requirement B2:

2: It must be possible to apply XML link semantics to existing documents by
modifying the documents' DTDs only, requiring no modification to the
document instances themselves.

For example by supplying appropriate information in an element's definition
(in the DTD), such as a default ROLE attribute. This provides for layering
of XML link semantics onto large bodies of XML documents without requiring
modification of those documents.

We also thought that requirement 2.3:

    XLink must support HTML 4.0 linking constructs.

meant that XLink would support, well, HTML 4.0 linking constructs. This
turned out to be a matter of interpretation.

> Today's HTML hyperlinks changed
> the world, even though they are metadata-light, single-ended, and
> without builtin indirection.  If you could add some metadata, linkbases,
> and multi-endedness without compromising the web architecture, the world
> might get changed again.

The HTML WG agrees that better linking would be desirable, and seriously
wanted to use XLink, which is why we spent so much time trying to achieve a
version that we could use.

There are currently two investigations that I know of going on within W3C on
layering linking on top of documents (which in my opinion is the
architectural model that should be used). One is in CSS:
http://www.w3.org/Style/Group/css3-src/css3-links/ (partly based on how
Opera does link recognition, see
http://people.opera.com/howcome/2000/css3/clink-nov-6.html), and HLink,
which is being done in the HTML WG:

Best wishes,

Steven Pemberton
Chair, HTML WG
Received on Tuesday, 16 July 2002 09:03:46 UTC

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