Compound Documents - necessary for success?

keshlam at keshlam at
Fri Jan 29 14:08:52 GMT 1999

Just to state the alternative to a "document of documents": a meta-document
structure can address many of the same needs, at some loss of
locality-of-reference. Consider the direction that Xlink is taking, where
in addition to documents being able to specify links to each other --
including links that essentially function as "import" or "include" requests
-- it's possible to write a separate document that builds associations
between two documents that are completely unaware of this higher-level

Hyperlinking and metadata aren't a 100% overlap with the
document-of-documents concept; there obviously are times when you really do
want all the information to be bundled together (for digital signature of
the composite, perhaps, if it's to be treated as a single legal document).
But this may be another case where the simple solution handles 90% of the
problem for 10% of the effort.

Joe Kesselman  / IBM Research
Unless stated otherwise, all opinions are solely those of the author.

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