Comments on 12 April 2011 draft of

XML processor profiles

C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, Black Mesa Technologies LLC

15 April 2011

This document comments on the Last Call draft of 12 April 2011 of the XML processor profiles specification (hereinafter XPP). The comments are the sole responsibility of the author, who is not here speaking for any other persons or organizations.
I have tried to organize my comments into distinct observations that can be dealt with separately, but I have been unable to make them wholly discrete and orthogonal. For each topic I have tried to indicate whether I believe it to be a substantive or an editorial point, but the distinction is not always helpful and I have not tried to apply it in all cases. Trivial points of style and spelling are gathered together at the end.

1. Choice of facets for characterizing processors

Any formulation of profiles for a specification chooses to clump some things together and to separate others, by placing those things (here, XML processors) either into the same class (processors satisfying a given profile) or into different classes. By defining profiles in terms of certain chosen criteria and not in terms of other criteria, any such spec makes an implicit choice among the infinite number of facets that could be used for characterizing the objects being classified. It is almost always helpful if that choice is made explicit rather than implicit. The current draft leaves the choice unexplained, its rationale unarticulated.
The introduction should describe at least briefly the rationale for the choice made and characterize both the dimensions along which the profiles defined here distinguish among processors and also some of the more obvious dimensions along which the profiles do not distinguish processors. At the very least, the spec needs to acknowledge explicitly that some properties have been left out of account instead of being made the basis for defining different profiles, for example by saying explicitly that propertes P, Q, and R are not taken into consideration in defining the profiles.
For example: in many kinds of practical work the most important characteristic among processors for any given programming language is probably the distinction between processors with event-based and those with tree-based interfaces, as exemplified by the difference between the SAX and DOM interfaces. A reader of XPP might plausibly expect, therefore, that if XPP is intended for practical use, that distinction will show up in the definition of profiles, in order to allow the profiles to provide a useful characterization of processors. What should such a reader infer from the failure of XPP even to mention this distinction? That you did not think the distinction important? That you thought it was not practically relevant? That it is too difficult to specify cleanly? Or that it didn't occur to you? Right now the text of the spec is compatible with each of these inferences; I think that if you explain your choice you may be able to elimimate at least the last one.
N.B. this issue is not about the choice of facets (concerning which there are other comments elsewhere) but about the need to say clearly that a choice has been made and to indicate why some facets were chosen and others not. Improving the choice of facets, as I hope you will, will not excuse you from the need to justify the choice, or at least identify and explain it.
Suggested fix: explicitly acknowledge that XPP involves a choice among possible ways of characterizing processors; identify the processor properties used as the basis for the classification proposed and identify at least some potential properties which are not used in the classification. Explain the basis for the choice.

2. Respect for the stand-alone declaration

It would be helpful, I think, for the processor profiles to distinguish more carefully the different behaviors possible with regard to the stand-alone declaration in the input XML document.
  • All declarations are read and handled appropriately, so documents with standalone='no' are processed without information loss.
  • No external declarations are read if standalone='yes'; if standalone='no' then external declarations are read, so all documents are processed without information loss.
  • No external declarations are read; if standalone='yes', the document is processed without information loss, and if standalone='no', the processor signals an inability to process the document without the possibility of information loss.
  • No external declarations are read, so documents with standalone='yes' are processed without information loss, and information will typically be lost in the processing of documents with standalone='no'. (Since documents may have standalone='no' even if standalone='yes' would be permitted, there can be cases where no information is lost in practice.)
In particular, it would be helpful for users of XML and for writers of specifications for XML-based processing to distinguish the last case from the others, in order to exclude it.
Suggested fix: augment the basic profile to require either that external declarations be read when necessary or that the processor signal an inability to handle non-standalone documents properly. Optionally also keep the profile now called basic, giving it a new name (personally, I could go for “sub-optimal”, but some people might think that that name was ungenerous).

3. Validating processors

Why do none of the defined profiles include validation? Are there no validating XML parsers? Or is it the view of the authors that in characterizing an XML processor it is unimportant whether the processor performs validation or not?
This reader particularly objects to the use of the word recommended to name a processor profile which does not involve validation of the input. It might be better to avoid the value judgement intrinsic to the word. But if you are going to make the value judgement, then I think you should make the correct value judgement, which is that validation is a more valuable service than non-validating well-formedness checking.
Suggested fix: Define at least one profile for validating processors. Either eliminate the name recommended or reserve it for validating processors.

4. Definitions of terms

The specification has a section on terminology; I think this is helpful. It could be made more helpful if the terminology section were more systematic.
A section on terminology can help the reader of a spec by identifying the key concepts of the specification and defining the terms used to denote them. It can help the authors of the spec by forcing them to attempt a coherent statement of what they mean by a given term; the effort of providing a formal definition is often repaid by the discovery of inconsistencies or infelicities in the authors' understandings of key concepts. In the current draft, however, the terminology section does not have much success with either of these tasks. Some important concepts appealed to in the current draft are not defined at all; others are hyperlinked to other specs but the definitions of the terms are not repeated in the current document, which makes the document unnecessarily hard to read.
Among the terms that ought to be defined, since they are crucial to the intellectual work of the spec, are these.
  • XML processor (the definition given in the XML spec is quoted in section 1; it might usefully be given again in the terminology section)
  • rigid (used to characterize mappings from XML documents to data model)
  • profile (what is a profile? How is it distinguished from a thing which is not a profile? Is my cup of coffee an XML processor profile? Why not?)
  • processor profile (ditto)
  • data model (in addition to specifying what is meant by this term in XPP, the spec should probably also take a little more care to distinguish data models and data model instances)
  • faithful provision
  • expose (is faithful provision the act of exposing? or is it possible to expose information in a way that does not constitute faithful provision? faithless provision?)
  • construction (esp. of data models)
  • identification as IDs (esp. of xml:id attributes)
  • reading (esp. of external markup declarations)
  • processing (esp. of XML documents and of external markup declarations)
  • packaging (of information; is packaging the same as faithful provision and/or exposure?)
  • provide (of information items and properties; identical to or different from packaging? faithful provision? exposure?)
  • implementation-defined
It is not a coincidence that defining these terms well will require clarity in the central concepts they denote. If the concepts are already sufficiently clear to the authors of the spec, you owe it to your readers to share that clarity with them. If they are not currently clear enough, then you owe it to the potential users of your spec to sharpen them; muddy concepts lead to poor designs. A careful, explicit definition of profile will make it easier for readers to see whether the profiles described later are well defined or note, and easier to judge their utility. It might also help the authors of the spec improve the specification of the profiles.
Among the terms that are appealed to but not defined locally are
  • well-formed
  • namespace well-formed
Suggested fix: Use the terminology section to provide explicit definitions for your key terms. Use the exercise of defining the terms to clarify your key concepts. Revise the rest of the spec to reflect the increased clarity of the analysis.

5. Are the profiles disjoint?

Is it intended that every processor conform to at most one profile from among those defined here? Or is the set of processors conforming to the minimum profile intended to be a superset of those conforming to the basic profile?
It would be helpful to say, one way or the other.
Suggested fix: Say, one way or the other.

6. Identification of xml:id attributes as IDs

In 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3, what does it mean to “[identify] all xml:id attributes as IDs as required by [xml:id Version 1.0]”? How does one distinguish between a processor which satisfies this requirement and one which fails to satisfy it?
Is identification of xml:id attributes as IDs distinct from “processing” them as IDs? As far as I can tell, it's much easier to find rules in the xml:id spec that define processing than to find rules that define identification of attributes as IDs.
Suggested fix: define identification as an ID as it is used here. (Since [attribute type] is a class-A property, I think that identifying an attribute as an ID simply means that attributes named xml:id are given [attribute type] = ID. If that is what you mean, say so. Do not assume that the reader of XPP has perfect recall of the full text of the Infoset and xml:id specs.)

7. Processing of external declarations

Sections 2.3 and 2.4 specify “reading and processing all external markup declarations”; what kind of processing is involved? Is there a difference between reading and processing? (The fact that both are mentioned may suggest that there is; the spec's habit of using three words where one would do may suggest that there is not.)
Suggested fix: Define reading and processing, as they apply to external markup declarations. If they are synonymous, drop one of them.

8. Providing information items

Section 3 describes class A as “Items and properties which must be provided by all profiles.”
This reader finds the relative clause confusing. In ordinary English, I would have thought that XML processors provide access to, or expose, the information in the XML document. The words quoted suggest that it is not processors but profiles that provide (access to) the information, which in turn persuades me that you are either using one or more of the terms item, property, provide, and profile in some special sense distinct from ordinary-language usage, or that you are using words too carelessly. If nothing else, this sentence seems to underscore the desirability of defining terms explicitly.
Suggested fix: Decide what it means to provide information, and whether the act is performed by processors or by profiles, or (by a kind of type overloading) both. Define the relevant terms. Recast the spec to use the terms as defined.

9. Data models and information sets

At several points, the words of the spec suggest that XPP believes itself to be in the business of talking about how processors map from sequences of characters matching the document production in the XML spec to data models (or more probably instances of data models). But nothing in the spec actually talks about anything that seems recognizable as a data model (in my understanding of any of the many ways term is normally used); the most visible differences among the profiles have to do with how much information they provide, and in some cases with whether particular items in the input are characterized in accordance with their declarations or not.
Suggested fix: Either define what you mean by construction of a data model and recast the definitions of the profiles so that they do in fact say how it is to be done, or stop talking about data models and admit that XPP is about which subset of the defined infoset is provided by processors.

10. Rigidity

Section 1 reads in part
Such definitions [of XML applications] have suffered to some extent from an uncertainty inherent in using that kind of foundation, in that the mapping XML processors perform from XML documents to data model is not rigid.
This way of putting things seems to convey an implied rebuke to the authors of the XML specification and to reflect an assumption that they were trying to define a rigid mapping, but that they failed. The rebuke may be warranted (although I think the failure to specify the information a parser must provide is more clearly an error than the decision not to specify a data model), but the historical assumption is false. I think it would be historically more accurate to say that the authors of the XML specification intended the XML specification to be compatible with a wide variety of data models and processor interfaces and that the XML specification, as a result, provides a flexibility and generality that the authors of other specifications have not always found helpful. In search of flexibility, the XML spec leaves to other specifications some responsibilities which, empirically, other specifications have not always bothered to discharge.
This is primarily a rhetorical issue, but it seems important because it touches on the purpose of this specification and the task it sets itself to solve.
Suggested fix: If you think the XML spec screwed up, say so cleanly and say how XPP proposes to mitigate the damage. If you think the XML spec got it right but later users of XML have screwed up by not meeting their responsibilities, then say so cleanly and say how XPP proposes to mitigate the damage. If you don't think anyone screwed up, strictly speaking, but the situation can still be improvied, then find a non-pejorative characterization of how the current situation arose and explain in neutral terms how it can be improved.

11. Relation of profiles to current practice

When profiles are defined for a new specification, they involve predictions about which kinds of variation in processor behavior are likely to be interesting and useful to developers and users. In the case of new specifications, there is no existing practice that could be appealed to as a justification of the classification or profiles, or to provide examples of software fitting one profile or another.
That is not the case here, and I think the specification should not progress until an empirical survey of existing processor characteristics is performed, as a simple way of field-testing the profiles defined here for applicability in the real world and of clarifying the intent of the profiles by providing examples, where applicable, of existing interfaces or processors that satisfy the profile.
In particular, I could have sworn (but I am too lazy to look it up now) that I had used some parser interfaces which did not provide access to namespace prefixes, and other interfaces which provided only inconvenient access to namespace names. Is a set of profiles which assumes that namespace name, local name, and prefix are always all three provided a good match for a world in which some parser implementors give their users a choice (prefix plus local name or namespace name plus local name)?
Note that actually classifying real parsers will require a crisp definition of what it means to make a particular information item available; that will be a good thing, although it is likely to involve some work.
Suggested fix: Identify ten or twenty existing XML processors with different behaviors (for purposes of this exercise, all conforming SAX processors may well turn out to be alike; ditto for conforming DOM parsers). Using the definitions given in XPP, identify which profile(s) each parser matches, if any. If there are significant numbers of parsers which match no profile, consider whether the profiles need to be revised to provide a better connection with existing practice. Use a non-normative document to provide examples of processors matching the different profiles.

12. Implementability of the spec

The status section says
[T]his specification is not implementable as such ....
This makes no sense.
The specification defines processor profiles for XML processors. On the face of it, it seems entirely possible for XML processors to make meaningful claims to having implemented one or more of the profiles defined here — not only meaningful, but desirable as a way of simplifying communication between software provider and software user. If a vendor claims that an XML parser provides an interface which matches the modest processor profile defined here, it would (or so it seems) be quite possible to put that claim to the test and decide rationally whether the claim is true or not. In what sense, then, is this spec not implementable?
The status section says, further down, that XPP “is intended for use by other specifications which themselves define one or more XML languages”. I take that to mean that the idea is that just as XSD, for example, now specifies that its input documents must be exposed in a way that makes certain infoset properties available, specs might in future say that their upstream processor must conform to this or that processor profile. But if XPP denies that an XML processor can implement XPP, it must follow that the processor cannot conform to XPP, or to any profile defined by XPP. So how can your intended clients use XPP to characterize the class of processors they require?
As things stand, they cannot; XPP provides no conformance rules for XML processors, so it is not in fact very useful as a tool for identifying classes of processors.
Suggested fix: Remove the claim that XPP is not implementable.

13. Conformance clause

The conformance clause suggests that other specifications can make use of this one by using words such as “Conforming implementations must construct input data models from XML documents as required by the recommended XML processor profile.” There are at least two problems with this formulation.
First, as noted elsewhere, XPP does not in fact define what a data model is or how to construct one. So it's hard to see just how to construe the phrase “construct input data models from XML documents as required by the ... profile”.
Second, requirement is merely a name used in specification writing to denote criteria which must be satisfied by an objects making true claims of conformance to a specification. (To quote the ISO/IEC Directives for the structure and drafting of international standards, a requirement is an “expression in the content of a document conveying criteria to be fulfilled if compliance with the document is to be claimed and from which no deviation is permitted”.) If a spec does not define conformance for a given class of objects, it follows logically that the spec does not (and logically cannot) define requirements in this sense for objects of that class.
Perhaps you are using requirement in some other sense? But no, section 1.1 specifies that you use the word “as described in [RFC 2119]”. RFC 2119 unfortunately provides only an implicit definition for the term requirement, which has the unfortunate additional property of being circular:
MUST     This word, or the terms "REQUIRED" or "SHALL", mean that the definition is an absolute requirement of the specification
From the equation of required with must and shall, however, it seems likely that the intent of RFC 2119 appears to be similar to that of the ISO/IEC Directives. That is, as far as I can tell, the usual usage of the terms in W3C and IETF specifications. So I infer that the word requirement really does mean here a property whose absence will invalidate any claim to conformance.
Now, XPP spec explicitly denies that processors can conform to XPP. It follows logically that neither XPP nor the profiles defined in XPP define requirements for XML processors, and that any spec that requires XML processors to conform to a given processor profile defined in XPP is asking them to perform the impossible, to conform to a specification which denies that they can possibly conform to it, and also making a vacuous requirement, that they satisfy the requirements of a specification which formally defines no requirements.
Suggested fix:
  • Replace the phrase “construct input data models ...” with some words which are given a meaningful definition by the spec. Or alternatively define what is meant by data model, construct, etc.
  • Define criteria for conformance of XML processors to the profiles defined.

14. Documentation of implementation-defined features

In section 3, the definitions of classes V and X say that processors “should document whether they provide this information to applications or not.”
The term implementation-defined is used by other specifications, both within and outside the W3C, to characterize features or behaviors which conforming processors are required to document as part of a claim to conform to the specification. If the term is taken to have that meaning here (XPP does not define the term, so it's hard to be sure), then the statement that processors “should” document their behavior is logically inconsistent: if the behavior is implementation-defined, then the correct verb is must, not should.
If the intent is to specify that behavior is allowed to vary from processor to processor and that processors are not required to document their behavior as a condition of conformance, then the term implementation-dependent is less flagrantly inconsistent with usage in other W3C specifications. It, too, however, is incompatible with the following sentence, since by default implementation-dependent is used to characterize features and behaviors which should not be documented, since users of the technology in question are to be discouraged from relying on particular processor-dependent behaviors. In any case, I do not believe there can be a good reason for a processor not to provide the documentation in question, so I think should is out of place. It should be a requirement, and the verb to use is must.
I note in passing that the use of should here is logically incompatible with XPP's failure to define conformance criteria for XML processors.
Suggested fix: Add a definition of implementation-defined compatible with that used in XPath 2.0 and related spec, and delete the sentence saying that processors “should” document the behavior in question. (Optionally add a redundant statement saying that they “must” document the beahvior, or better a note observing that it is a consequence of the behavior's being implementation-defined that the implementation must define it.)

15. The information expressed in XML documents

Section 3 begins
For the profile definitions above and the invariants below, we categorize the information expressed in XML documents into a number of (overlapping) classes.
This is incorrect. What is characterized in section 3 is not the information expressed in an XML document, but the particular subset of that information for which the Infoset spec defines names. The two are the same neither in theory nor in practice.
Suggested fix: Replace the sentence quoted with one that's not false. Perhaps “For the profile definitions above and the invariants below, we categorize the information identified and named in [XML Information Set] into a number of (overlapping) classes.”

16. The information classes

A reader might plausibly wonder about the principles which guided the classification of information items and properites in section 3. At least, this reader wonders. After reading the spec, I'm still wondering. An explicit statement of the principles which guided the classification should be provided.
Some description of why the letters, A, B, P, V, and X were chosen as the names for their classes would also help.
It would be preferable, I think, for the classes to be characterized in terms of their content rather than solely in terms of which processor profiles are required to expose them. As it is, the statements that class A consists of “Items and properties which must be provided by all profiles” and class B of “Items and properties which must be provided by 2.3 The modest XML processor profile and 2.4 The recommended XML processor profile” look as if they are intended to serve as definitions, but as definitions they are wholly unsuitable and as normative statements they are wholly redundant with 2.1 through 2.4.
Suggested fix: Characterize classes A, B, etc. not in terms of which profiles they are associated with but in terms of what information they contain. Either explain the choice of letters, or label the classes A through F. Optionally make the classes disjoint to reduce confusion.

17. Recursive XInclude processing

It might be helpful to readers to remind them in a note that XInclude requires recursive processing of include elements, so that the output of a processor matching the ‘recommended’ profile will be guaranteed never to contain xi:include elements.
Suggested fix: Say it explicitly. Do not assume your readers have memorized the XInclude spec.

18. Minor editorial points, typos, etc.

Some typographic and editorial problems caught my eye.
  1. The term profile is not used in this specification to denote any thing other than the processor profiles defined here. The terms profile and processor profile denote the same thing. So in most of the twenty-five or so occurrences of the phrase “processor profile”, the first word supplies no information or meaning not already supplied by the second word. The spec would be shorter and easier to read if the first word were struck from, say, twenty or so of those occurrences.
  2. The status section says
    [T]his specification is not implementable as such ....
    What does “as such” mean here? Normally, one would take “such” to have an anaphoric reference, so the sentence would be equivalent to saying “this specification is not implementable as a specification”, but the meaning of this rephrasing is also opaque to me. How would that be different from not being implementable? Perhaps the anaphoric reference is to the concept of implementation, so the phrase ought to be expanded to “not implementable by means of an implementation in the strict sense”. This does not seem very promising, either.
    Perhaps the simplest repair of the stylistic problem would be to delete “as such” without replacement. (But the stylistic problem is not the only problem here; see 12, “Implementability of the spec”.)
  3. In section 1, horizontal ellipses are used with whiespace between the full stops without whitespace before or after the ellipsis.
    For “a software module. . .used”, read “a software module ... used” or optionally “a software module … used” (the latter using the standard hellip entity for character U+2026).
  4. Section 1 reads in part
    Another kind of uncertainty stems from the growth of the XML family of specifications: if the input document includes uses of XInclude, for instance.
    This is not a well-formed English sentence. Perhaps a continuation of the sentence has been lost? Something like “, then the results provided by the XML processor may vary among processors, so that the application does not know what to expect”?
  5. All the manuals of style I know frown on subdividing sections of a document into fewer than two subsections. Section 1.1 on terminology should either be given a sibling, or folded into its parent section, or promoted to be a sibling of its current section.
    Since terminology is not really part of the background of the specification, the last possibility seems best.
  6. In 1.1, the paragraph about base URI says the term is used “as it is defined in [RFC 3986]”. But RFC 3986 does not provide any definition properly so called for the term base URI. It specifies rules for establishing and using a base URI, but it does not “define” it.
    I think what is meant is that XPP assumes that the base URI is established and used as specified in RFC 3986. So perhaps read
    A base URI is an absolute URI against which relative URIs are applied; this specification assumes that base URIs are established and used as specified in [RFC 3986].
    But you should probably also decide whether XPP assumes it or requires it.
  7. In the first paragraph of 2, the phrase the steps necessary to construct a data model from a well-formed and namespace well-formed XML document seems ill chosen. The descriptions that follow are not, in fact, procedural in nature, so steps doesn't seem right. Nor do they in fact redeem the promise of information on how to construct a data model (or even a data model instance).
    In principle, I'd like to propose better wording, but I can't because I don't know what you are trying to say here. I think you are mostly just trying to characterize the sections which follow by talking about what the profiles do or are. Unfortunately, I also don't understand precisely what you mean by the word profile. Judging by this phrase's flamboyant failure to connect with anything that actually happens in sections 2.1 through 2.4, you may be experiencing some trouble in that area, too.
  8. In 2.1, the mention of information set classes A, B′, P, and X comes out of nowhere; this reader felt completely blind-sided.
    It would be better if somewhere closer to the top of the document there were some words to say something like
    Profiles are defined in terms of a processor's behavior with regard to external markup declarations, its support or lack of support for xml:id and XInclude, and the information it provides to its downstream applications. For this purpose, section 3 of this specification partitions the information items and properties defined by [XML Information Set] into classes; each profile specifies which classes of information are exposed by processors in that class.
  9. In 2, the clauses about faithful provision of the information in the document all take the form “Faithful provision of the information ... corresponding to information items and properties ...”.
    Perhaps it would suffice to provide, or expose, the information items and properties specified.
    If it is absolutely necessary to provide not the information items and properties themselves but instead information corresponding to (but, implicitly, not identical to?) the specified items and properties, then I think the spec has an obligation to explain clearly what the difference is, and why exposing the items and properties does not satisfy the requirements of the spec. In particular, you need to provide an answer to the reader who is asking “How can a piece of information correspond to an information item without being indistinguishable from it (qua information) and thus without being that information item?”
    The editors might do well to review their dusty copies of Strunk and White's Elements of style, especially the maxim “Omit needless words”, and to revise accordingly. If they do, the individuals corresponding to their readers will feel an emotion corresponding to gratitude. (Or, at least, a diminished desire to seek out sharp objects and perform dangerous acts with them.)
  10. 2.4 reads (rule 4):
    Replacement of all include elements in the XInclude namespace, and namespace, xml:base and xml:lang fixup of the result, as required for conformance to [XML Inclusions (XInclude) Version 1.0 (Second Edition)];
    This sentence seems unnecessarily awkward; this reader, at least, found it hard to read and follow.
    Perhaps “and fixup of the namespace, xml:base, and xml:lang properties of the result ... ”?
  11. In section 3, the labels of the classes are reduplicated. For “Class AClass A” read “Class A”, and similarly for the other classes, and for the lists of information items in section 4.2.
  12. In 4.2.2 and 4.2.3, a number of items are described in terms like “Entirely, per the Element case above.” The spec would be clearer if full sentences were used; this reader is not certain whether the intended verb is “may differ” or “may be absent”, and I do not know what the subject of the sentence is intended to be.
    Also, my Oxford American dictionary defines per as meaning ‘in accordance with’, but what is meant here seems to be something more like ‘as described in’. The Collins COBUILD dictionary agrees with Oxford in saying that the use of per in this way normally involves things happening or being done “in the way that the plan, system, or set of instructions says it should be done”. But I don't think the description of the element case includes any instructions or provides any sense of what should or should not be done; I think per is out of place here.
  13. In 4.2.2 and 4.2.3, the list of differences between information sets (I think that's what is being listed) is made unnecessarily long and opaque by being organized around classes of information items instead of around cases of difference.
    In 4.2.3, there is a list of seven items, six of which turn out on inspection carry as explanation the words “Entirely, for exactly the same reason”. It would be a lot easier for the reader to see what is going on if the list were replaced with a pargraph:
    Where processors conforming to the modest profile report an xinclude element, processors conforming to the recommended profile will report the result of XInclude processing, which will consist of zero or more element, processing instruction, unexpanded-entity, character, or comment information items. In consequence, the results reported by processors matching these two profiles may differ in the presence or absence of those information items, as well as in the presence or absence of attribute and namespace information items on the elements in question.
    Though more detailed and clearer than the current description, this takes less space than the current formulation.
  14. In 4.2.2 and 4.2.4 various occurrences of the word element are capitalized for no discernible reason. Samuel Johnson is dead; it is too late to bring back his capitalization habit.