W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > November 1996

Re: OMITTAG specifications in element declarations

From: Paul Grosso <paul@arbortext.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 96 10:39:45 CST
Message-Id: <9611041639.AA03222@atiaus.arbortext.com>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
I would like to see the omitted tag minimization allowed in XML DTDs.

I fail to see how allowing and ignoring this field will make the 
implementors job (that is, those implementors whose tools even read
the DTD, since there is a whole class which will not) that much harder.

I do see, however, how it can make the DTD maintainters job much harder
and how it will make SGML compatibility more difficult for very little
gain.  All the DTD reading and writing tools that use an implied SGML
declaration with OMITTAG YES--as well as all those with OMITTAG NO but
that write out the omitted tag minimization anyway as permitted by 
8879--will not produce valid XML DTDs even if the DTD writer is careful
to create models that are otherwise valid per XML.

If I were writing an XML tool that was going to read a DTD, I'd sure
spend the extra 10 minutes to program it to read and ignore an optional
omitted tag minimization field.  And once a couple tools do that, users
will start assuming it's okay to have that field, and then the tools that
don't do it will just be considered suboptimal.  Why set ourselves up for
this bit of gratuitous non-interoperability?
Received on Monday, 4 November 1996 11:59:35 UTC

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