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Re: SERIOUS concerns about implementation



On Thu, 20 Feb 1997 06:35:10 -0500 Peter Murray-Rust said:
><EXAMPLE>
>If you install Panorama there is a directory called catalog, with about
>35 files which are a mixture of popular *.dtd and *.ent.
>EVERY SINGLE FILE WILL BREAK XML UNLESS THE SYNTAX IS CHANGED.

I'm sorry to see members of the WG taken by surprise on this topic.

I for one thought it was obvious long ago, and never hidden or
disguised, that the restrictions on comments, entity types, content
models, and attribute declarations would require the preparation of
XML-compatible versions of standard entity sets from ISO and elsewhere,
as well as of XML-compatible versions of standard DTDs like Docbook,
TEI, and HTML.  So I'm neither surprised nor shocked by Peter
Murray-Rust's discovery, though I am alarmed to see that some members of
the WG seem surprised by it.

The preparation of XML-compatible versions of these files is (a) not
hard, and (b) something that need be done only once.  It seems to me a
very small price indeed to pay for the simplifications we get in
declaration syntax and entity handling.

So, with respect, I suggest that any proposals to

  - start allowing comments in arbitrary SGML declarations
  - return to the use of -- -- com delimiters
  - remove the restrictions on content models which will make many
    existing DTDs break with XML parsers
  - restore the SDATA entity type

need some further motivation before we reopen these questions.  We knew
when we made the original decision that existing SGML DTDs and entity
sets use these constructs.  We knew that eliminating the constructs
would mean making new XML-compatible versions of the files we all use.
Nothing has changed.  Is there a reason to revisit the decisions?



-C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
 University of Illinois at Chicago


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