DOM and Grove

Len Bullard cbullard at
Thu Sep 9 19:45:04 BST 1999

Correct.  Not just possible; it's happening.

This is precisely what the IETM community 
faced in the late eighties and early nineties.  The 
answer was to convert everything to HTML to get the 
job done.  Now they have to convert again.  Every time 
that is done, the costs recur and the information gets a 
little more damaged.

While it is hard on some to understand 
terms like "notation", it is vital to understand what 
Paul is saying.  This is where everything stopped.  
This where CALS broke down.  This is where the 
war was lost and the shaky structure known as the 
World Wide Web emerged a winner because no two 
ISO committee heads could agree.

Study the history of CGM.  Look at the relentless 
duplication of the effort of SGML for reasons I 
still cannot fathom.  Note how SGML was blamed.
Look at what is happening 
in other notations being invented today for graphics. 
Note the deliberate duplication of effort spent trying 
to keep separate syntaxes.  Note how XML is blamed.

Study groves.  Write the simplified explanations 
if you need them.  You do need them.


>Paul Prescod wrote:
> The real reason groves were invented was
> to answer the question:
>  * what is the result of hyperlinking into an arbitrary media type?
> What are the properties of the abstract object returned? The grove
> answers that question: the object has properties such as "parent",
> (possibly null), "children" (possibly null), "containing entity" and so
> forth.
> You cannot build a sophisticated hypertext system without answering that
> question. This will become apparent after XLink, XPointer and RDF are
> implemented. We'll start to see many divergences of behavior when links
> are made into (e.g.) PDF, MPEGs, JPEGs and so forth. Over time we will
> need to develop a framework for describing the correct results of links
> in a generic way. Then we will reinvent groves.
> Or not... we could keep doing things in an ad hoc manner for ever I
> suppose. It would be expensive and inefficient but it is possible.

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as: and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list