It’s almost time to wrap up the journey through Java and XML. I hope you’ve had fun. Before I leave you to mull over all the possibilities, I want to finish up with a little crystal-ball gazing. Like any good programmer, I always try and outguess the technology space and be ahead of the curve. This usually involves knowing more than just cursory information about a whole lot of technologies, so I can easily get up to speed when something breaks. In this chapter, I’m going to point out some of the interesting things coming up over the horizon, and let you in on some extra knowledge on each. I’ll be the first to admit that some of these guesses may be completely off; others may be the next big thing. Take a look at each, and then be ready to react when you see where they might fit into your applications.
First on my list of up-and-coming stars in the XML world is XLink. XLink defines an XML linking mechanism for referring to other documents. For those of you who are HTML authors, this may sound like the “a” element you are used to:
<a href="http://www.nickelcreek.com">Check out Nickel Creek!</a>.
However, XLink offers much more than simply unidirectional (one-way) linking. Using XLink, you can create bidirectional links, define how links are processed, and most importantly, allow linking from any XML element (instead of just the “a” element). For all these reasons, it’s worth getting into here.
Example 16-1 is a small XML document, representing ...