Re: Syntax of XML markup declarations

At 06:40 AM 9/24/96 +0000, Tim Bray wrote:
>I disagree strongly.  It seems to me a huge gain, in writing the spec,
>in reading the spec, and in implementing the system, to have one syntax
>for data and metadata to the extent possible.  Eliot is right to say
>that writing the meta-DTD is hard (I did one); and that most of it is
>a straightforward mapping from DTD syntax into SGML; and that DTD
>syntax is more compact than SGML for this purpose.  I disagree, however, 
>that it would be unsatisfactory or brain-dead.  As for the design-by-committee
>problem, we have that one anyhow, like it or not.
>Of course I am biased in favour of the metalanguage unification because
>I went through all the work of doing it, in MGML.

I agree with both Michael and Tim on this issue, but it seems that the
most difficult part will be to decide what to do with the declarations
inside the doc's internal subset. 

For external DTDs, no problem, I'm only concerned about the instance. But
since the internal subset is part of the instance, how can you make it
a valid SGML document with declarations in another syntax? It would seem
that you would have to make *all* declarations external, including those
that are instance-specific. However, you're still stuck with referencing
the external declarations in such a way that an SGML parser can parse the
reference and know what it means.

Unless you assume that preprocessing is always required to get an SGML


Robert Streich				streich@slb.com
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