Representing links

The standard was developed when people realised that the language of linking provided by HTML, namely the Anchor, was not powerful enough for complex document sets. Incedentally, the standard does not specify which tags should be used, it specifies the attributes that should be added to your tags

There are several different types of XLinks:

xlink:type="simple" much like an HTML Anchor, fixed, one direction only
xlink:type="extended" a group of related links, each file is an extended link.
xlink:type="locator" a url you can go to, referenced by arc type XLinks in the content using xlink:label, I keep these in a LinkBase and share them between the files using XInclude.
xlink:type="arc" an xlink between locators, uses xlink:to and/or xlink:from attributes, I use these in the LinkBase, to tie the files together, usually with the special role of "parent"; I also use them for author's arbitary links and links that make part of the stucture but jump across it or go to other sites.
xlink:type="resource" named content, each section and sub-section in the documents have an xlink:label which is uses to select the content and build a map of the page.
xlink:type="none" it's up to the application to decide what to do with these, I use them for making a <print/> tag which gets transformed into a url to get the PDF version of the document.

I take advantage of the standard by transforming my documents with XSLT StyleSheets that understand what my application needs to do with it's XLinks.

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