XDNL or UML Statecharts?
09:29, 5 Apr 2000 UTC | Simon St.Laurent

XML Document Navigation Language, a W3C Note barely a week old, has already found one reviewer who finds it promising but proposes another approach.

Writing in uidesign.net, David Anderson makes his purpose clear from the beginning:

"This paper seeks to demonstrate that although XDNL is a step in the right direction, it in itself is still insufficient for real working systems."

The problem lies not in XDNL's approach - Anderson lauds its "un-intrusive" nature, and finds its independence from style sheets a good idea - but rather in what it doesn't do:

"The real problem with XDNL as it stands at the moment is that it really only addresses the navigation of information. There is no behavior permitted."

Anderson finds XDNL's lack of behavior support to be a serious hindrance for more interactive tasks than reading hypertext,, like form handling or URL rewriting. His solution: UML Statecharts, a solution he previously outlined for more general Web tasks.

While it remains to be seen whether the UML approach will supplement or sweep away XDNL, this is a detailed analysis well worth pondering for those delivering content to wireless devices.

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