[sc34wg3] XLink support in XTM

Murray Altheim murray06 at altheim.com
Sun Apr 23 19:12:11 EDT 2006

Quoting Lars Marius Garshol <larsga at ontopia.net>:
> * Murray Altheim
>> I've never heard the argument against XLink explained, except that
>> it somehow is considered more complicated than not having it
> Correct.

Yet, as has been repeated stated by myself and several others, we
do gain more than we lose. We gain linking. Absent XLink we have
no expression of what happens with links: how they're defined,
the model behind them, their behaviours, etc.  This continued
business about having to declare a namespace (which happens once
per document and amounts to 42 characters) I find rather silly,
a complaint over nothing.

>> (which is demonstrably only the matter of having to specify an  additional
>> namespace, if XLink 1.1 is used).
> I think you need to reread my postings on this. I listed many more problems.

Yes, and I think you need to reread my postings on this. I provided
responses to this, and have repeatedly posted justifications for the
initial choice of XLink as well as its continued use. This must be
the third or fourth time this has been discussed, though I must admit
I lost count about a year ago.

>> As I stated, this is a false economy, as for the price of admission  
>> one is getting a readymade link model, one approved as the linking  
>> model for XML by the W3C.
> I've asked you before what XTM needs a linking model for, but have so 
>  far received no reply.

As I mentioned above, I think you need to reread my postings on this,
as well as those of others.

>> so I'm assuming that in the absence of XLink, XTM 2.0 would simply  
>> not specify any linking model at all in the standard?
> If I understand correctly what you mean by linking model, then yes.

And you're fine with that? Remarkable. No linking in XTM 2.0! Not
even the expression of what looks like links and some prose in the
text? Or are we relying on some software magic like the symmetry
idea? This reminds me a little of the linking muddle of HTML, and
please don't tell me that linking in HTML is anything to be proud
of -- anything but -- and where it actually works consistently (in
the simplest alink), it does it didn't come about because of
anything written in any HTML specification, only as a confluence of
the behaviours of browsers, which have hardly been consistent. This
isn't the way to write standards, and I'd hope XTM wouldn't leave
out important details, fundamental details.

>> I.e., if the alink model, syntax and behaviour provided by XLink  
>> are abandoned, the ISO standard would simply leave a hole where  
>> XLink was? Or do you have some substitute text planned?
> The "new" text was written in December, and can be seen at
>   http://www.isotopicmaps.org/sam/sam-xtm/

Ha ha ha. Pretty funny. The only instance of the word "link"
in the entire document is:

   XTM no longer uses XLink and XML Base.

Hard to believe it, really. XTM 1.0 had dozens of instances. There's
a lot of linking in XTM 1.0. I guess XTM 2.0 doesn't do much linking;
well, actually, any. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nessuno. Intet.

> The goal of that text is to provide an exact and unambiguous  
> definition of what is and is not legal in XTM 2.0, and how instances  
> map to the TMDM. No more, and no less. If a linking model comes into  
> that in any way, I have to confess that I don't know how, and someone 
>  will have to explain it to me.

Well, no definition of linking, no linking. I guess that's pretty

If you are comfortable with an XTM that doesn't include any linking,
don't expect XTM 2.0 instances to do any linking, nor see any reason
why XTM 2.0 needs linking, then hell, leave any definition of linking
out. Yeah, actually, if you don't see the need to define linking I
can completely agree with you -- don't define any linking.


Murray Altheim <murray06 at altheim.com>                              ===  = =
http://www.altheim.com/murray/                                     = =  ===
SGML Grease Monkey, Banjo Player, Wantanabe Zen Monk               = =  = =

      In the evening
      The rice leaves in the garden
      Rustle in the autumn wind
      That blows through my reed hut.  -- Minamoto no Tsunenobu

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