From owner-xml-l@LISTSERV.HEA.IE Mon Mar 30 18:16:58 1998 Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 19:06:36 -0500 From: "Eve L. Maler" <elm@ARBORTEXT.COM> Subject: Re: XML and broken links
At 03:21 PM 3/26/98 -0500, Hariharan Natarajan wrote:
>I'm a newcomer to XML. Can anybody explain how XML deals with broken links in a
The XML language per se doesn't deal with it, but the XML Linking Language and XML Pointer Language (XLink and XPointer) will help to solve the problem. They will only "help to" solve the problem because anytime you point to a resource that you have no control over, there's a risk that the resource won't be available or won't be exactly the resource you have in mind. For example, this might happen if a server is down, if someone decides to rearrange the contents of the target document, or if the filesystem on which the target document resides is reorganized.
There are two strategies available:
If you use an "extended" XLink instead of an HTML/<A>-style link, the link can reside outside any of the resources that are pointed to, and thus when a target resource changes in some fashion, you have an easier opportunity to update the link because you can edit the link even if you're not allowed to edit the resources participating in the link.
If you point into the structure of an XML resource by mentioning a specific unique ID or by walking down the parent/child document structure navigating by element name, your link will be relatively robust against changes to the contents of the target: any changes made outside the "path" you have specified won't affect the viability of your pointer.