Linking XML Documents Together
The clear benefit and raison d’étre of HTML is that documents can be linked together to form an aggregate system of information and value. XML has a similar value proposition when taking into account the XLink and XPointer specifications. These specifications allow users to link related XML documents together in a structured manner.
XLink provides XML document links that express a relationship between XML docu-ments and resources. A resource is any location within an XML document, such as an element, document tree, or any portion of content that can be addressed in a link. The nature of the link relationship between resources is determined by applications that process the link within its context.
XPointers provide a means to locate these resources, without explicitly requiring that the resource be identified with an ID attribute. Links are not identified by name because XML does not have a fixed set of elements. XML processors instead use a specific attribute to identify links. Additional attributes provide further information to the XML processor as well as provide a facility to avoid link name collisions and a means to con-trol linking behavior.