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From Tim Bray <tb...@textuality.com>
Subject Re: How to use XML to link to XML when the XML becomes HTML?
Date Fri, 31 Mar 2000 21:53:58 GMT
At 12:49 PM 3/31/00 +0200, Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
>This is a big issue and I still don't have a clear-cut vision on the
>I hope that others (Tim at first) can share opinions over this one which
>is a very nasty issue.

I think that it's going to be hard to figure out what the general patterns
will be.  I think that information resources will routinely be authored,
stored, and delivered in quite different formats and organizations.  In
the process of publishing, I anticipate that some links will be created
(when large information units are taken apart), others will be destroyed
(when small information units are aggregated) and still others will be
rewritten (if only to point at the .html or .pdf instead of the .xml).
In fact, I'm pretty sure that in a lot of cases the upstream data is going
to be sitting in a relational database with linkage done by key-field
references and so on.

So... I don't believe that content-negotiation will help very much.  I
think that XSLT will help sometimes, not in others.  I think that one
of the nice things about XLink is that it's designed to be easily recognized
and processed, because in the general case I think unpredictable kinds of
processing will be necessary.

This probably isn't a very satisfactory answer; at the moment, there's
no technology that will automatically "do the right thing" with a 
hyperlinked network of any complexity, and I don't see any reason
to expect one to arrive soon. -Tim

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