When XML 1.0 first came out, many thought it would be virtually no time
before we would have "native XML in the browser", acting just like
[x]HTML+CSS today, but better.
We've actually started getting to the point where you can get a half-decent
XML+CSS cross-browser implementation. But what started as "XLL" devolved
into a simmering muddy stew of XLink and XPointer, the result of which no
browser today (seven years after the fact) can replicate the lowly <a
href="...">, much less say, "Go to and highlight the 3rd through the 5th
paragraphs of chapter 8."
Too many cooks spoiled the linking broth. They should have just given the
job to James Clark (or someone similarly competent) and been done with it in
a couple of months.
(Note that Opera has a simple CSS means of describing linking -- both
embedding and traversing -- for generic XML, but it was effectively
strangled "in committee". Politics and theology, as usual, trumping
*One* day I'm sure we'll be able to natively style *and* link (and point)
TEI documents using descendents of current browsers. (Hmmm, I wonder if
they'll support Google Adsense, document.write(), and DHTML effects. Oh the
horror, the horror...)