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Re: ERB meeting, 30 October 1996





Michael Sperberg-McQueen <U35395@UICVM.UIC.EDU> wrote:
> On Wed, 30 Oct 1996 14:59:04 -0500 I said:
> > ...
> >Agreed unanimously:
> > ...
> >  - to use the string '/>' as the NET delimiter in the SGML
> >    declaration of XML documents


I strongly urge the ERB to reconsider this.

The /> NET trick is extremely fragile.  Most current
SGML parsers cannot even implement it, and those that do
cannot enforce its proper usage.  If a user forgets to
supply the correct SGML declaration, SGML parsers will
still accept XML documents *but will interpret them incorrectly
without even issuing a warning.*

Omitting the XML SGML declaration is the *first thing* most
SGMLS users will try when they receive an XML document and find
that the parser can't handle it.  We're just asking for trouble
if we adopt this solution.

Another problem with the /> NET trick is that it's *still impossible
for a structure-controlled application to create a parseable
instance from ESIS*.  This is one of the more serious problems
with ISO 8879 from a tool-writer's standpoint; this is an issue
that XML *must* address for it to satisfy design goal #9:
"XML documents shall be easy to create."


--Joe English

  jenglish@crl.com


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