XLink: behavior must go!

John E. Simpson simpson at polaris.net
Wed May 12 18:02:56 BST 1999

At 06:23 AM 5/12/1999 -0500, Paul Prescod wrote:

  [pretty convincing arguments about problems in XLink as specified to date]

I've always thought of the XLink spec as a comprehensive blue-sky pastiche
of wonderful, imperfectly-workable ideas, and figured that with time it
would shake out to be, er, more perfectly workable. (And, granted, less
blue-sky.) The "hints" in the spec, I reckoned, were there as Post-It(tm)
reminders for authors of the next WD as much as for readers of the current
one. It's been a looong time between WDs, though; if it would help
accelerate the process then I'd be all for jettisoning the
behavior-specific bits of the spec (or transferring responsibility for them
to the style WGs).

OTOH, transplanting the burden won't necessarily accelerate resolution of
those Little Flaky Bits. Paul mentioned some problems inherent in
transclusion of foreign structures, for example. That's the one LFB I'd be
most interested in having and the one I'm least confident of ever
obtaining, in anything like perfect form. (This isn't meant as a knock on
the work of the Fragments WG by any means; it just seems impossible for
them to resolve *all* the transclusion LFBs, e.g. partial nodes, ID
clashes, etc.)

(Paul didn't mention this, but I also worry greatly about the
intellectual-property implications of auto/embed behavior, *especially* in
the absence of default style/rendering. This strikes me as a nifty
technological bauble with potentially far-reaching cultural impact.)
John E. Simpson          | It's no disgrace t'be poor, 
simpson at polaris.net      | but it might as well be.
                         |            -- "Kin" Hubbard

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