Re: [i] XPointer and addressing in OHP-Nav

From: Jacco van Ossenbruggen (
Date: Tue 21 Jul 1998 - 04:37:06 CDT

Sigi, thanks for your XPointer overview.

_(fwd link)_>In summarising I would say that the XPointer spec will allow a much more
>advanced addressing in XML documents than the current '#' of HTML. The fact
>that it is limited to XML (and intended for textual data) means that
>OHP-Nav could perhaps borrow some of the ideas but that XML would probably
>not be suitable for OHP-Nav in its current form.

I would like to propose an alternative summary/conclusion. What about this?

 OHP-Nav could use XPointer for linking into XML/SGML/HTML documents, especially
 in applications for which interoperability with WWW-applications is an  important issue. It could use any another mechanism in all other cases.

I think the interoperability with the Web is the key issue here. We should not worry about the fact that XPointer is only applicable to XML and HTML. On the Web, most documents will be in these formats anyway, and for documents that are not, we can easily use the stuff we already have now. Instead, I think we should make sure that in an environment with XML documents, XPointer provides anything we need in OHP-Nav. The advantages then are

  1. we can sell OHP-Nav to the Web community - they will be interested if we can show it provides a good way to implement and test external XLinks
  2. we can use standard XPointer implementations to do all the processing of anchors in XML documents

So for me, the real question is: is there something wrong or missing in XPointer that prevents us to use it for linking XML docs with OHP-Nav? If yes, should we make an effort to change the XPointer spec?


Jacco van Ossenbruggen             Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science            Vrije Universiteit, de Boelelaan 1081a      1081 HV Amsterdam (fax: +31 20 44 47653)

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