Re: Announce: raw plinks

From: Murray Altheim (
Date: Tue Apr 24 2001 - 14:21:01 PDT

Eugene Eric Kim wrote:
> Beautiful! You did quite a few interesting things with plink, many of
> which I plan on shamelessly stealing. :-) More importantly, it looks like
> a tool that Henry can use out-of-the-box for the Bootstrap site, which is
> not the case for Purple.

Thanks, I'm looking forward to Henry's feedback.

> My number one requested feature would be to get plink working with
> DocBook. My original intention with Purple was to start with my own
> simplified XML vocabulary for generating documents, and then gradually
> migrate over to the more commonly used and more complete DocBook DTD.
> However, because purple.dtd has been more than adequate for my needs so
> far, I haven't been motivated to migrate. I know this won't last forever,
> however, so if you beat me to the punch and start supporting DocBook, I
> may have to adopt plink myself. :-)

Gad. I've already got that feature, you just need to figure out which
elements play which roles. :-)

plink includes the ability to set "division", "significant", and "wrapper"
elements from the command line. I've not tested how this works using non-
XHTML markup, but I'm on the way there. The parts of DocBook that fulfill
the same role as divisions, significant and wrapper elements may work out
of the box with plink, others I may need to modify. One of the big
problems with HTML has always been that the headings are merely that,
just headings. There's no division containment, although there *could*
have been had anyone been willing to make it more strict (eek! says the
Web community), and had there been numbered divisions, say <div1> through
<div6>, we might have had a chance. Interestingly enough, ISO-HTML tried
to run down this path but was cut down at the knees. I noted that this
occurred after communication with the W3C, though I don't have any
knowledge of why ISO-HTML was emasculated.

Things like <BiblioEntry> would be "significant, <Bibliography> would
be considered a "wrapper." I've got several methods (that are currently
unused) that keep track of containment and depth. As we move forward
perhaps we can figure out how it could be used with "generic XML."

To give you an idea,

  % java plink -p -D "Title|SubTitle|TitleAbbrev" \
      -E "GlossEntry|BiblioEntry" \
      -W "Glossary|Bibliography"

of course, fleshing this out further. I can imagine designing XML-based
packages of these based on common document types, ie., prefs files.
Since plink is based on Xerces, this would be fairly simple.

I can also develop a stricter version of XHTML that would prohibit
some of the constructions that drive plink wild. I do have an
isSpecialCase() method that could be modified to keep strange
or unusual constructions from being accidentally plinked. I'm not
sure at this point how the XHTML special case method could be extended,
but I have a few ideas.


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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