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Re: EntityReference

From: Stephen R. Savitzky <steve@crc.ricoh.com>
Date: 28 Jul 1998 11:56:46 -0700
To: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Cc: www-dom@w3.org
Message-ID: <qc3eblajo1.fsf@gelion.crc.ricoh.com>
Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca> writes:

> On 28 Jul 1998, Stephen R. Savitzky wrote:
> > 
> > This brings up a weak point in both the XML and the DOM specs -- no
> > consideration at all is given to the possibility that one might want to
> > _output_ a document, in which case replacing each EntityReference with its
> > corresponding Entity is WRONG.  The whole assumption is that the parser is a
> > front-end for an application that doesn't want to know about the _real_
> > structure of the document.
> XML provides a mechanism for text componentization that is explicitly
> designed to be invisible to the application. XLink provides a mechanism
> that the application can "see" and manipulate and choose to use or not
> use. If you want these "first class transclusions" then you should use
> XLink and not text entities.

My point is that there is more than one kind of application.  Applications
that _consume_ XML files do not need to "see" entity references.  However,
applications that _produce_ or _edit_ XML files _must_ be able to manipulate
entity references directly.  The failure to make this distinction in the
specification is a serious problem, because it means that an XML editor, for
example, cannot possibly conform to the specification!

What's even worse, an XML editor cannot make use of an XML parser or DOM
class library that conforms to the specification (unless I have seriously
misread something).  I think that this fact should be sufficient to prove
that the specification is inadequate.

 Stephen R. Savitzky   Chief Software Scientist, Ricoh Silicon Valley, Inc., 
<steve@rsv.ricoh.com>                            California Research Center
 voice: 650.496.5710   fax: 650.854.8740    URL: http://rsv.ricoh.com/~steve/
  home: <steve@starport.com> URL: http://www.starport.com/people/steve/
Received on Tuesday, 28 July 1998 14:52:27 UTC

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