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Re: New DOM Level 2 Working Draft

From: Stephen R. Savitzky <steve@rsv.ricoh.com>
Date: 28 Sep 1999 09:31:48 -0700
To: keshlam@us.ibm.com
Cc: www-dom@w3.org
Message-ID: <qcyadrt2tn.fsf@congo.crc.ricoh.com>
keshlam@us.ibm.com writes:

> Quoth Stephen R. Savitzky:
> > Can one pick and choose in this way, and
> > still say you have "an API to this information set"?
> 
> The Infoset is still a Working Draft, and the standard W3C boilerplate says
>      It is inappropriate to use W3C Working Drafts as reference material or to
>      cite them as other than "work in progress."
> So statements about consistancy with it should be taken as indications of
> intent; they aren't yet testable, since the Infoset may still be redesigned at
> any moment.

In which case the statement is in urgent need of rephrasing. 

> The DOM itself is still a work in progress, and doesn't yet do everything
> people want it to.

Trying to do everything that everyone wants is a guaranteed road to
disaster.  I'd rather have distinct DOM and InfoSet interfaces than DOM
Level 50 piled on top of 49 ever-more-bloated special-purpose interfaces and
years of regrettable decisions.  The InfoSet API would then be free to model
_exactly_ the information in the document, and nothing else.

> Ignorable whitespace is an open issue...

I'd settle for an "isWhitespace" flag and let the application decide whether
it's ignorable.  In fact, that's what I added in my implementation.

> If we had it all to do over again, I'd want Infoset complete (with
> namespaces and datatypes and schemas and so on) before folks nailed down
> XML's syntax, never mind the DOM. But when dancing on the leading edge,
> some of the parts you want just won't be ready in time; all you can do is
> prioritize and go forward incrementally.

But you can hardly claim even to _intend_ to have Level 2 be an API to the
Infoset in that case.  The best you can do is say that Level 2 is intended
as an API to a subset of the Infoset as defined at the moment, and that
_maybe_ Level 3 will be intended as an API to the Infoset as it might
become. 

> <smile>Have patience please; keep raising the issues and helping us understand
> where the priorities are, but be aware that we're already making mistakes just
> as fast as we can...</smile>

<smile>Then you need to get a computer.  <quotation>A computer is a machine
capable of doing the wrong thing a million times per second</quotation></smile>

-- 
Stephen R. Savitzky  <steve@rsv.ricoh.com>  <http://rsv.ricoh.com/~steve/>
Quote of the month:  Death is nature's way of telling you to slow down.
Chief Software Scientist, Ricoh Silicon Valley, Inc. Calif. Research Center
 voice: 650.496.5710  front desk: 650.496.5700  fax: 650.854.8740 
  home: <steve@theStarport.org> URL: http://theStarport.org/people/steve/
Received on Tuesday, 28 September 1999 12:32:22 GMT

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