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Re: Re PEs

From: Michael Sperberg-McQueen <U35395@UICVM.UIC.EDU>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 97 17:21:49 CDT
Message-Id: <199706102256.SAA17682@www10.w3.org>
To: W3C SGML Working Group <w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org>
On Wed, 4 Jun 1997 22:21:22 -0400 (EDT) Terry Allen said:
>Are we still doing SGML?  If PEs go away in XML, the need

We're still doing SGML as long as I have anything to say about it.

>for SGML DTDs increases without bound.  If I need to maintain
>my DTD in SGML even when I'm going to output XML, why do I
>need an XML DTD?  Would it not be simpler to eliminate DTDs

I don't know about you; I need it because I would like to maintain my
documents in XML, rather than maintaining them in Full SGML and
down-translating at publication time.  That means I need an XML DTD for
validation, etc., all the things Len mentioned.

If PEs were lost, then XML would become definitively a language for
network publication only, not suitable for the range of other activities
(including document maintenance) that our second design goal seems to me
to cover.  That would be a loss not just for those of us who would like
XML to be a useful markup language for work other than publication, but
also for the Web as a whole.  If XML is useful for serious work, then
documents can be in XML in their archival form, and publication on the
Web requires nothing more than copying files into the appropriate
directories.  If XML were crippled by losing parameter entities (and
external text entities, if some people have their way), then publication
on the Web would continue to require down-translation, as it does now.
That would be a lost opportunity.

>from XML entirely?  If some completely new markup language is
>to be defined (a legitimate goal), why cling to SGML conformance?

Because XML is not that completely new markup language.  It is not
SGML++, so to speak, but at most a sort of sgml--.  SGML conformance
is important to XML because this work group and editorial review board
have consistently shown that it is important to our constituencies,
both for its own sake and for the sake of the Principle of Least
Surprise.

>The question "why not eliminate DTDs from XML entirely" is a
>serious one, as are all my questions, and I expect a response
>to it from the SGML ERB.

This is not to be taken as an official response from the ERB.

-C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
Received on Tuesday, 10 June 1997 18:56:39 EDT

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