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XPath, XLink, XPointer, and XML

XPath, XLink, XPointer, and XML

A Practical Guide to Web Hyperlinking and Transclusion

Erik Wilde, David Lowe

Aug 2002, Paperback, 304 pages
ISBN13: 9780201703443
ISBN10: 0201703440
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Although the Web has grown continuously since its introduction in the early 90's, its technical foundations have remained relatively stable. However, the introduction of XML, along with a sequence of related technologies such as XPath, XLink, and XPointer, has heralded a substantial change in the way in which content can be managed. The most significant of these changes is with respect to the hypermedia functionality which is enabled by the new technologies of XLink and XPointer, especially richer linking and navigation models. This book will describe the new hypermedia features of the XLink/XPointer-enabled Web for developers who are interested in how these new concepts can be used for Web publishing. This book will offer its readers an overview of hypertext and hypermedia possibilities as well as the possibilities of the particular hypertext technologies that are currently being developed for the Web.

The combination of Extensible Markup Language (XML) and its related interlinking standards bring a range of exciting possibilities to the realm of Internet content management. This practical reference book documents these critical standards, shifting theory into practice for today's developers who are creating tomorrow's useful, efficient, and information-rich applications and Web sites.

Blending advanced reference material with practical guidelines, this authoritative guide presents a historical overview, current developments, and future perspectives in three detailed sections. Part I provides a conceptual framework highlighting current and emerging linking technologies, hypermedia concepts, and the rationale behind the "open" Web of tomorrow. Part II covers the specifics behind the emerging core standards, and then Part III examines how these technologies can be applied and how the concepts can be put to efficient use within the world of Web site management and Web publishing.

Both detailed and authoritative, this book presents the most thorough documentation of XML's linking standards available, and it examines how today's enabling technologies are likely to change the Web of tomorrow.

Topics covered in-depth include:

  • Hypermedia concepts and alternatives to the Web
  • XML Namespaces, XML Base, XInclude, XML Information Set, XHTML, and XSLT
  • XPath, XLink, and XPointer concepts, strengths, and limitations
  • Emerging tools, applications, and environments
  • Migration strategies, from conventional models to more sophisticated linking techniques
  • Future perspectives on the XPath, XLink, and XPointer standards


List of Figures.

List of Tables.



About the Authors.

Information Linking.The Web.XML.Conclusions.


1. Current Technology.
The Internet Environment.Connecting to the Internet.How the Internet Works.The World Wide Web.Information Linking in the WWW.The Web's Linking Model.A Broader View of Linking in the Web.Shortcomings of the Web Linking Model.Current Solutions.Conclusions.2. Hypermedia Concepts and Alternatives to the Web.
What Is Hypermedia?History of Hypermedia.Definition of Hypermedia.Hypermedia Concepts.Representing Information Associations.Formalizing Linking Concepts.Usage Scenarios: Hypermedia Support for Information Utilization.Scenario Description.Discussion.Conclusions.3. Conceptual Viewpoint.
References versus Links.Resource Identification: URL, URI, and URN.Persistence of Identifiers and References.Persistence of Identifiers.Persistence of References.Third-Party Links and Linkbases.Multi-Ended Links.Generic Links.Typed Links.Conclusions.


4. Related Technologies.
XML Core Standards.XML Namespaces.XML Base.XML Inclusions.XML External Entities.XLink.XML Information Set.Extensible Hypertext Markup Language.Extensible Stylesheet Language.XSL Transformations.XSL Formatting Objects.Resource Description Framework.Conclusions.5. XML Path Language.
General Model.Root Node.Element Node.Attribute Node.Namespace Node.Processing Instruction Node.Comment Node.Text Node.Example.Location Paths.Location Steps.Axes.Node Tests.Predicates.Abbreviations.Examples.Expressions.Functions.Boolean Functions.Number Functions.String Functions.Node Set Functions.Examples.Future Developments.Conclusions.6. XML Pointer Language.
General Model.XPointer Data Model.XPointer Data Model Examples.XPointer Forms.Bare Names.Child Sequences.Full XPointers.Functions.Using XPointers.XPointer Character Escaping.XPointers and Namespaces.How to Compose XPointers.Persistence.Future Developments.Conclusions.7. XML Linking Language.
Embedding Links into XML Documents.Link Types and Element Types.XLink Link Types.XLink Element Types.Attributes.Element Type Attribute.Locator Attribute.Semantic Attributes.Behavior Attributes.Traversal Attributes.Interpretation of XLinks.Processing.Conformance.Usage.XLink Element and Attribute Declaration.Extending XLink.Using XLink for Linkbases.The Future of XLink.Conclusions.


8. Authoring Aspects.
Practical Issues.Lack of Presentation Semantics.Unclear Processing Model.Tool Support.Loss of Context.Legal Issues.More Complex Authoring.Emerging Support for XLink and XPointer.Support in Existing Browsers.Parsers and Code Libraries.Hand-Coded Support.Development Tools.Authoring Approaches.Identifying Things to Link.Controlling Linking and Ensuring Link Integrity.Link Semantics.Accessibility and Usability.Conclusions.9. Transitioning to a New Model.
Alternative Approaches.Issues.Alternatives.Example Strategies.Internal Hybrid, External No Change.Internal Hybrid, External Hybrid.Content Negotiation.Migration of Content.Building New Sites.Conclusions.Epilogue.
Index. 0201703440T07112002

Dr. Erik Wilde is lecturer and senior researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zuerich, Switzerland, where his work focuses on the technical foundations of the World Wide Web and XML. He is the author of Wilde's WWW (Springer-Verlag, 1999).

Dr. David Lowe is an associate professor and the Associate Dean in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. He has published more than 65 refereed papers, is on numerous Web conference committees, and is the information management theme editor for the Journal of Digital Information. He is coauthor of Hypermedia and the Web: An Engineering Approach (Wiley, 1999).