Re: <insert> and external entity references

Abigail (
Tue, 19 Mar 1996 21:44:55 +0100 (MET)

From: Abigail <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: <insert> and external entity references
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 21:44:55 +0100 (MET)
In-Reply-To: <> from "C. M. Sperberg-McQueen" at Mar 19, 96 11:23:06 am

C. M. Sperberg-McQueen wrote:
++ Excuse me if someone explained this while I was not paying attention,
++ but why are we talking about adding an INSERT tag with the semantics 'go
++ find this file or document, and insert it here', when SGML already has
++ the mechanisms needed for this, in the form of entity references?  Why
++ not just start writing, requesting, or demanding HTTP servers that
++ actually understand and process references to external entities
++ as defined by ISO 8879?

There are various reasons not to do it. First of all, it would
only work if the included file is an html fragment; <insert>
could as easily include an image or video.

A second reason not to have the server include the documents is
caching. If the included or the including file changes often
and the other hardly, agents might benefit from caching, which you
would lose when you let the server deal with it.

Third reason is that it requires SGML aware servers. Apart from
the new software which is needed, it means servers have to parse
all outgoing documents; which will mean a degrade in performance.


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