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Simple solution? Pub. Idents. vs URN.

From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 10:33:35 -0500
Message-Id: <1.5.4.32.19961127153335.00926f64@csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
To: cbullard@HiWAAY.net, Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Cc: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
I am going to presume that the "formal" part of FPIs is not really what we
care about. If I am wrong, please correct me.

At 08:34 AM 11/27/96 -0600, Len Bullard wrote:
>I think a concise statement of the problem FPIs are intended to solve 
>and a shorter primer of how they do that would be invaluable as well 
>because otherwise, they really do look like an overbuilt lookup.

"A public identifier is a name that is intended to be meaningful across
systems and different user environments." Goldfarb, p378

"public identifer: A minimum literal that identifies public text." p181

There seems to be a complete overlap of the intended goals of FPIs and URNs.
But I think that these two beasts can co-habit. 

In XML DTDs are optional, and those that need them (I.e., the SGML
community, and those that care about validation) use them, and those that
don't, needn't. Why can't FPIs be handled in the same way? If we allow
either of these syntaxes:

<!ENTITY open-hatch
         SYSTEM "http://www.textuality.com/boilerplate/OpenHatch.xml">

<!ENTITY open-hatch
        PUBLIC "ISO .... "
"http://www.textuality.com/boilerplate/OpenHatch.xml">

then we preserve the essential internet-centricity and usability of XML, but
allow the traditional SGML "escape hatch" for people who want to 

        a) redirect to a local copy, 
        b) to use documents off-line or
        c) use older SGML tools that don't understand URLs.

 Paul Prescod
Received on Wednesday, 27 November 1996 10:31:20 EST

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