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Re: DOM Level 1 doesn't do everything

From: Lauren Wood <lauren@sqwest.bc.ca>
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 14:06:16 -0700
Message-Id: <199807282106.OAA23914@sqwest.bc.ca>
To: www-dom@w3.org
You raise some good points here that I'll bring up in the committee.


At 28/07/98 01:47 PM , Stephen R. Savitzky wrote:
>Lauren Wood <lauren@sqwest.bc.ca> writes:
>> At 28/07/98 11:56 AM , Stephen R. Savitzky wrote:
>> >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
>> >entity references directly. 
>> An XML editor can add to the specification. You're not limited to the Level
>> 1 DOM interfaces.
>The specification clearly states: 
>  EntityReference objects are inserted into the DOM by the XML processor
>  whenever the processor sees a reference to an entity other than the
>  pre-defined character entities in the XML specification. The replacement
>  value, if it is available, will appear in the child list of the
>  EntityReference.
>One might hedge this by saying that the replacement value of an entity is
>``not available'' to an editor even if it's in the DTD, but that's a pretty
>severe distortion of the spec.  The requirement to replace and re-insert
>character entities is also a pain in the neck.  We're ignoring it, of
>course, in the interests of efficiency, but it's another distortion, and
>another reason our application simply doesn't conform.
>> >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.
>> I don't think that this is true - my company is working on an XML editor,
>> for example, and there are other companies working on the DOM specification
>> that are also working on XML or SGML editors. It is more likely that we
>> haven't documented it all properly. (But of course, it's not impossible
>> that we completely missed something vital).
>So your editor lets you define entities in the DTD and put corresponding
>references in your document.  What does it do when it encounters a reference
>in the course of saving or displaying the document?  The only correct thing
>according to the spec would appear to be to replace it.  (I can see
>replacing the entity when you do a search; this just demonstrates that both
>behaviors have to be permitted.)  
>It would be sufficient to mention in the spec that not every application is
>_required_ to put the replacement value of every EntityReference in its
>children, nor to invisibly replace references to character entities.
>> We know that an XML editor would need to add functionality to the DOM
>> interfaces to be able to be an editor. And it is planned to add this
>> functionality to the DOM as soon as we can. 
>The problem is not _adding_ functionality to the DOM, but _removing_ it.  In
>the interests of efficiency and of correct behavior in a document-processing
>application, we're simply _not doing_ many of the things the specification
>says we have to do.  If they were optional instead of mandatory, we would be
>conforming to the spec.  
>We will be able to implement every interface (they're a subset of what we
>need), but not all of the methods will have the specified behavior.  That's
>probably what you are doing, too.
>> But for now, we need to get the current spec out, limited though it may be
>> in functionality. We can always add functionality later. It's harder to
>> undo the mistakes that would likely happen if we tried to do too much too
>> fast. 
>This is correct, and what I'm saying is that there is specified behavior that
>is both difficult to implement and incorrect for some applications.  Remove
>it, and add it back _correctly_ later.
>> No DOM implementation is *limited* to the DOM interfaces - you are free to
>> add what you think you need. When we start work on the rest of the DOM, it
>> would be good if you could then share with us any information as to what
>> worked, and what didn't, in your implementations. And what you think we
>> should add, or not add.
>I'll be glad to.  There's an excellent chance (>90% probability) that our
>application will be released as open source later this year.  At that point
>we'll have 50-100K lines of Java code to share, and some interesting war
> 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 17:06:48 UTC

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