Re: Using HyTime Arcform stuff (was Re: Ephemeral XML?)

At 9:46 AM 1/14/97, W. Eliot Kimber wrote:

>Can we stipulate that it is assumed that nobody in this discussion will
>knowingly suggest that any syntax be required if it can be reasonably
>inferred?  I believe that's a basic design principle behind XML.

   I'm sorry to be misunderstanding you. I am not trying to willfully
misinterpret you, but I could propose an additional constraint: that we not
use syntactic examples of syntaxes that we do not intend to propose. As you
noted, we were in agreement as to the syntax that we _might_ need, but I
was unable to see that due to the ancillary HyTime declarations, which I
took to be a proposal.

   At any rate, I am still anxious that we see if we can do without a
declaration, and without namespace pollution either, but I suspect that if
we want to avoid the latter, we will need the former.

  An idea: If we allow separate attribute list declarations, and amend that
so that redundant attribute declarations for an element are not in error,
so long as the declarations don't conflict (e.g. this would be legal):

<!element foo EMTPY>
<!attlist foo gimp (brangle | jangle | fizz) fizz>
<!attlist foo gimp (brangle | jangle | fizz) fizz>
<!attlist foo arithmetic (ambition | distraction | uglification | derision)

Then we can require that document instances that intend to work without
links must declare AF attributes in the DTD subset. The document instance
would be free to duplicate the semantics of the "real" DTD without
syntactic problems, and the clinet would be guaranteed to see any DTD
information required.

 That, combined with fixed AF determining attribute values, would eliminate
the need for a PI.

The problem is that it is more verbose than a declaration. This violates my
own desire for minimal syntax (though meets my desire to avoid PIs,
generally). If we are going to use PIs to create an AF declaration, we
should consider getting rid of the attributes altogether, and using syntax
like this (not HyTime compatible, unfortunately):

<?XML link-arch: ilink clink(a footnote)>

Where we would interpret this as saying that the link architecture is
enabled; ilinks should be assumed on <ilink> elements; clinks on <a> and
<footnote> elements; other sub-forms not in use. This could even be
supplemented by something like:

<?XML link-arch: default> or <?XML link-arch>

to make all link elements the same as their AF names.

   -- David

I am not a number. I am an undefined character.
David Durand              dgd@cs.bu.edu  \  david@dynamicDiagrams.com
Boston University Computer Science        \  Sr. Analyst
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