>local systems which may find it easier to deal with HREFs and/or be
>XML-based - as is the case with my museum and it sounds like others
>on this list).
Just a point of clarification. Everything which has been
discussed concerning href vs. entityref is equally applicable
for SGML- and XML-encoded finding aids. There is no difference
with this particular issue. Your sentence above implies href
makes more sense with XML-encoded documents but that isn't
true. You may use the very same entity mechanism in XML
finding aids as you can with SGML ones, you may even use
Formal Public Identifiers in the entity declaration, just like
SGML. The only difference is that some kind of system identifier
is also required in the declaration for XML. The issue is purely
one of software. True SGML/XML applications understand entities,
other systems which are merely text-based (and often claim to
be true SGML applications) may not. For those institutions who
*must* use href in order to work with their local software,
I am merely suggesting that an entity also be included to enhance
>is set to "image" then again we know to insert an <img src, but
>ROLE="hyperlink" is an <a href, etc. Anyway, this is not the solution for
>everyone, but couldn't HREF be safely used along with appropriate
>attributes which spell indicated how that link should be manifested
>(without the need for server-side parsing programs)? Just an thought.
I have seen this sort of thing before. You have discovered
quite independently that the notations used in entity declarations
really do have a use, and you are trying to mimic this functionality
through some thoroughly local interpretation of the role attribute.
Yes, your solution will work for you, but it *is* a local interpre-
tation or redefinition of role (at least in my opinion). But once
you've used role for this purpose it becomes unavailable to be used
again for that element should you need it for legitimate reasons
(you can't use the same attribute twice in the same element). The
same goes for altrender, another favorite of encoders who need to
replicate the functionality of entities without actually using entities.
Still this kind of "tag abuse" is pretty harmless. As long as you
also use an entity, other union systems to which you contribute
your finding aids shouldn't gag on a spurious role or altrender
attribute here and there. I think altrender at least was designed
to be abused in this fashion.
More discussions, heated arguments, eagerly welcomed.
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