Re: Link Evolution

From: Murray Altheim (
Date: Mon Apr 16 2001 - 16:18:59 PDT

Eugene Eric Kim wrote:
> On Fri, 13 Apr 2001, Murray Altheim wrote:
> > I'm thinking that we could add the types of metadata to the links
> > themselves so that wisened tools could manage the links, or work
> > with topic map engines to do this. Certainly got my head spinning
> > with ideas, anyway. If we can come up with some specifics, I'll try
> > to push these into XHTML 2.0 as much as makes sense.
> Sounds good. I personally need more time to play with typed links in a
> real system before I can make a coherent proposal. A while back, I asked
> Doug how his team used typed links in Augment. He said that,
> unfortunately, his team did not spend much time experimenting with typed
> links, but that they are one of the more interesting candidates for
> evolution.

There seems to be a lot more conjecture and speculation about complex
linking systems than there are hard facts about their structure and
functionality. Systems with complex linking have had difficulty getting
traction, whereas HTML with its extremely simple methodology (which Ted
Nelson derides endlessly) has proven to be enormously popular in
satisfying the 80/20 point in link design. Obviously some balance can
be found between the two that satisfies our new 80/20 point.

If I'm correct that XHTML 2.0 ends up using XLink, there'll be hooks
inherently there to add the sorts of metadata, or links to metadata
that we could use either within the document or external to it. Even
an attribute containing a link into a link maintenance database for
the document would be fairly simple:

   <a id="x37" href="somewhere.html"

[or something a lot more intelligent...]


Murray Altheim <mailto:altheim&#x40;>
XML Technology Center
Sun Microsystems, Inc., MS MPK17-102, 1601 Willow Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025

      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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