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Re: Make DTDs optional?



On Mon, 30 Sep 1996, Charles F. Goldfarb wrote:

> 3. They won't get that support unless we make XML absurdly easy to implement.
> That means a delivery form of an SGML instance with no tricky parsing,no SGML
> declaration, and no DTD.

I agree 100% with #3.  I don't think the ease which someone with a text
editor can produce junk should be too influential on XML.  

But I think there may be a different potential user base than existing
SGML applications.  The plug-in/compound-document market may be large
(VBX, Java applets, Netscape plugins, OpenDoc, OLE {whatever it is called
this week}, etc) and could do with some standard text formats for the
small input documents these use.  

For example, a Java CALS table popup renderer needs to read in the CALS
data: this should be XML not SGML. This Java CALS table renderer shouldn't
need to be any kind of full SGML system, or even RCS. With no explicit
DTD, we have to have the assumption that the XML data's implicit DTD is
coded directly in the XML application (or that some other language or
stylesheet supplied with the document furnishes the mappings into the the
things the application knows about). 

Is this really more what XML should be about: a markup language for
presenting documents in the form required by the application?  (Which
would correspond to the normalised form of an SGML document when parsed
against archetectural forms that model the XML application.) In other
words, a  temporary/application/closed-system format rather than a 
archiving/modelling/manipulation/open-system format like SGML.  (no flames 
about 'format' please) 


Rick Jelliffe            http://www.allette.com.au/allette/ricko
                         email: ricko@allette.com.au
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