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Re: More on RE/RS



On Wed, 25 Sep 1996 20:57:23 GMT, "Christopher R. Maden" <crm@ebt.com> wrote:

>Several people have proposed defining the RE/RS problem out of
>existence by defining the RE and RS function charcters as codes that
>won't occur in entities, via the SGML application for XML.

The standard (and the Handbook) recognize the possibility that records might not
exist in some storage formats. In those cases, you can assign RE/RS out of
existence. But when records actually exist, you *cannot* evade handling them by
not assigning RE/RS and sweeping them under the rug (where "rug" = application
or entity manager).

If a document is created in an editor that lets you enter tags as text, you must
deal with REs. That is because you could be using white space to "format" the
source text, and some of that whitespace will be indistinguishable from true
information. (See my earlier postings on this point.) 

If the editor only lets you enter elements through menu selection, it can avoid
having any "formatting" REs in its source document. It is for such editors that
the standard makes provision for assigning the RE/RS characters out of
existence.

Bottom line: You can assign the RE/RS characters out of existence, but not the
RE/RS problem. It is inherent in all direct entry of markup and undelimited
data, not just SGML.
--
Charles F. Goldfarb * Information Management Consulting * +1(408)867-5553
           13075 Paramount Drive * Saratoga CA 95070 * USA
  International Standards Editor * ISO 8879 SGML * ISO/IEC 10744 HyTime
 Prentice-Hall Series Editor * CFG Series on Open Information Management
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