Q: Using XML entities for href's

Mark Szpakowski szpak at well.com
Mon Mar 2 16:12:19 GMT 1998

At 03:53 PM 3/2/98 +0100, Steffen Rodig wrote:
>In my xml based application I want to write xml documents with some
>kind of indirect links, since I don't know the exact location of a
>link target at the time a document is created and stored into a
>repository. I got the idea to use the entity concept of xml for doing
><?XML VERSION="1.0"?>
><!DOCTYPE CP-Document PUBLIC "-//SDM SHORE//DTD CP-Document//EN" [
><!ENTITY aRef SYSTEM "http://aServer/aDocument#anElement">
><aTag xml-link=simple href=aRef>content</aTag>

We have an almost identical challenge, with the added qualifications that 

a) all our pages are customized and generated on the fly, out of the
b) we need to generate HTML, so that pages can be viewed and navigated with
today's HTML browsers. 

This means that at the time of serving up the documents our code needs to
compose HTML <A HREF="...">content</A> tags from the symbolic link
identifiers. I.e., for outputting just HTML there seems to be no reason to
generate an intermediary XML document, with entity definitions and entity
refs, which then gets translated to HTML. However, the XML doc makes sense
if we want to anticipate supporting both XML and HTML browsers (by
switching on the browser type, and if it's HTML, generating HTML).

I see no reason why your approach wouldn't work with XML browsers.

- Mark
Mark Szpakowski
WorldNav Learning Systems Inc.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

mark.szpakowski at learningengine.com
Voice  902/422-1577     Fax 902/422-4964

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