Re: two failings of XLink

Hi Paul,

> I wouldn't dare to be the one to try to define "hyperlink reference"
> but I too wonder if this example is within the scope of XLink.

Defining the scope would be really useful. If we can sort this
conflict out by deciding that XLink shouldn't be used for the kinds of
"links" that XHTML and XForms can't easily express with XLink, then
that should clear up quite a lot of things.

> The xlink:show attribute has values of replace, new, and embed,
> where embed is explained to imply embedding only of the presentation
> so that it can be used to represent things like the <img> element
> (and personally, I have always voted not to have the embed value as
> I felt it was confusing [which it clearly is] and not really
> consonant with the other semantics of XLink, but that's only one of
> several times in which I was in the minority on the XLink WG).

So 'embed' is only for images? It doesn't include embedding XML or
text? Or applets? Or movies? Where are the boundaries on what 'embed'
is allowed to embed?

> The semantics of the show attribute indicate that XLink is meant to
> mimic the idea of what the <a> element does in HTML in browsers when
> you link to another HTML document and either put it in the current
> window or in a new window. That's it. Nothing about inclusion,
> transclusion, executing scripts, or much anything else like that.

So what about the classic 'longdesc' example where you maybe
right-click on an image to get a description in a pop-up window? Does
that count, or not?

Quickly (because it's really time I went to bed!), it appears to me
that the XLink Rec. implies the wider scope that I've been assuming
when it says:

  The notion of resources is universal to the World Wide Web.
  [Definition: As discussed in [IETF RFC 2396], a resource is any
  addressable unit of information or service.] Examples include files,
  images, documents, programs, and query results.


  One of the common uses of XLink is to create hyperlinks.
  [Definition: A hyperlink is a link that is intended primarily for
  presentation to a human user.] Nothing in XLink's design, however,
  prevents it from being used with links that are intended solely for
  consumption by computers.

Of course what a spec says isn't always what the WG means... :)


Jeni Tennison

Received on Friday, 27 September 2002 19:50:07 UTC