Getting inside your documents
Inside, not just between
While it's frequently useful to connect from one point in a document to an entirely new document, it's not always ideal. Even in HTML, many links point to specific locations inside of documents.
Added responsibilities of out-of-line linking
In HTML, and when using simple XLinks, it's easy to tell where a link starts - it's right in the document, after all. When using extended links and link bases, links are stored separately, and they need a means of identifying their endpoints precisely. Otherwise, we'd have lists of connected documents which wouldn't be much fun to use.
An XML and URI-friendly syntax
Because XPointers have to be used as fragment identifiers within URIs, the specification includes rules for encoding them for proper handling both as URIs and as acceptable XML attribute values.
Used beyond XLink
XPointers can be used as part of any application which references XML documents by URI, provided of course that the application understands XPointer.
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