XLinks and transformation troubles
08:36, 18 Jul 2000 UTC | Edd Dumbill

On XML-DEV, Michael Kraus reports that he has been wrestling with preserving linking information through XSLT transforms.

His software takes XML and a set of XLinks, and he wants to know to which element of the transformed XML the XLinks refer:

There are two different levels: data and presentation. the XML and XLink files are on the data level, and the FO (HTML) file resulting from the XSLT transformation is on the presentation level. But this file represents the transformation of the XML file ONLY! How is it possible to transform the XLinks as well?

In response, Ben Trafford notes that this is a problem that has "plagued" the XLink Working Group, and is scheduled for discussion in August this year. He then goes on to describe how his "nascent XLink/XPointer" implementation handles this issue.

On XLinks that, after transformation, link to nowhere he says:

So, my engine tracks the XLinks, and has a warning flagged if they disappear during transformation. That warning may, or may not, be passed to the authoring or viewing application.

And has this to say about link types that aren't handled by the destination vocabulary:

In terms of directly transforming XLinks, well, XSL doesn't handle the full range of XLinks natively. It seems that the transformations which aren't handled by FOs should be done prior to stylesheet-based transformation. For example, 'onLoad' links would be automatically included, prior to document transformation.

The problem, however, is far from solved, and is one of several problems technical, social and legal that XLink is likely to raise in the near future. As Trafford says, "it's a fairly scary can of worms".

xmlhack: developer news from the XML community

Front page | Search | Find XML jobs

Related categories