Michael Kay M.H.Kay at
Mon Mar 23 10:00:58 GMT 1998

Peter Murray-Rust wrote:
>I am trying to create tools for looking at hyperlink structure within XML
>documents and would like comment on the role of IDREF...

I have been using IDREF to represent relationships within a
genealogical data set, but with considerable reservations
because I would prefer something that extends naturally to
cross-file links using XLL. If I use IDREF I get the benefit of
not having to do the validation myself; if I prefix my IDREF's
with a "#" they become forwards compatible to XLL but I lose
the benefit of validation.

I would be more enthusiastic about the XLL approach if it
wasn't so full of hyperlink behaviour. I want to model a 
relationship between two objects that happen to be in different
datasets. All the XLL stuff about the manner in which links are
followed is to me entirely presentation-oriented and I don't
want it in my data thankyou very much. From that point of
view I prefer the IDREF style of specification which says
nothing about the behavioural characteristics of the link.
What I really need is a "distributed IDREF".

Mike Kay

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