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Re: Optional features considered harmful



At 06:54 AM 10/24/96 +0000, Tim Bray wrote:
>At 11:34 AM 24/10/96 +0000, James Clark wrote:
>>At 23:57 23/10/96 +0000, Tim Bray wrote:

>James is correct; it is certainly possible to do this.  But SGML provides
>a built-in, standard, nonproprietary way to go about it.  The way I sell
>SGML in the corporate world is:
>
>SGML gives you:
> 1. a way to model the structure of your documents, and
> 2. a way to control the authoring so they come out right, and
> 3. a way to modularize documents for re-use and management, and
> 4. ALL OF THIS IS STANDARDIZED AND NON-PROPRIETARY

But note that general text entities *don't actually do point 3*.  General
text entities *ARE NOT REUSABLE*.  In fact, the only way to have re-usable
SGML documents, as James has pointed out, is to make them documents
syntactically (even if the objects may be semantically subparts of documents).

While external text entities are a useful convenience for single-person
authoring, they are not useful as a general mechanism for managing SGML
data as re-usable objects.  

Cheers,

E.
--
W. Eliot Kimber (kimber@passage.com) 
Senior SGML Consultant and HyTime Specialist
Passage Systems, Inc., (512)339-1400
10596 N. Tantau Ave., Cupertino, CA 95014-3535 (408) 366-0300, (408)
366-0320 (fax)
2608 Pinewood Terrace, Austin, TX 78757 (512) 339-1400 (fone/fax)
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