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Subject: DOCBOOK: Re: [docbook-tc] Proposal: Linking in DocBook

/ Tim Teebken <timlt@microsoft.com> was heard to say:
| adopted.  If that's not a big concern from a DocBook perspective, then
| it seems reasonable to move ahead with the Xlink proposal. 

I'm not sure if it's a big concern or not. It's a concern for me, but
it's a lot broader than DocBook. Anyway, here are my thoughts. We have
reached a fork in the road and as Yoggi Berra would say, I think we
should take it. :-) Actually, I think there are two forks:

Fork 1: Do Nothing OR Add More Linking

  If we do nothing, the issue is closed.

  Let's consider adding more linking, here we have another fork:

Fork 2: Do It Our Way OR Do It the XLink Way

  If we do it our way, we get to define the semantics, but no tool will
  ever support our linking elements directly. (Well, I suppose some
  special purpose DocBook tool might, but let's not worry about that.)

  What we'll have to do then is transform our linking elements into some
  other standard (HTML anchors, FO links, maybe someday XLinks for XML,
  etc.) for presentation/publishing.

  If we do it the XLink way, we can arrange for the semantics we want,
  and maybe someday tools will support our linking elements directly.

  What we'll have to do in the short term is transform our XLink linking
  elements into some other standard (HTML 'a', FO 'external-links',
  etc.) for presentation/publishing.

On the whole, I think that it makes more sense to use XLink than to
'roll our own' if we decide to add more linking.

The only compelling argument I can think of for not using XLink is
along these lines: XLink will never be adopted, but linking is so
important that some *other* standard will be invented and broadly
adopted. So we shouldn't commit to XLink because we'll have to change
all of our XLinks to 'SomeOther' links in the future. No one that I
know of has argued that line of reasoning persuasively.

                                        Be seeing you,

P.S. To date, no one has argued that the right answer here is to do
nothing. If there are folks on the list that think we should do
nothing, please say so.

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>      | Unless one is a genius, it is best
http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/ | to aim at being
Chair, DocBook Technical Committee | intelligible.--Anthony Hope

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