W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > February 2000

Re: identify XHTML DTD by URI, not by FPI

From: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 01:07:35 -0500 (EST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.10002160054400.1475-100000@mail.q2.net>

On Tue, 15 Feb 2000, Dan Connolly wrote:

> Oops... i wasn't clear. I meant: members of the Web Community are
> free to use FPIs to name their texts if they find that valuable,
> but you haven't shown what value the Web Community would derive
> from W3C issuing an FPI that identifies the XHTML Basic DTD (in
> addition to a URI that identifies the XHTML Basic DTD).

Sorry, I'm not particularly interested in revisiting a debate that
people much more informed and experienced than me have agreed to
disagree on.  Suffice it to say:

  (1) The XML spec was developed under circumstances of a far wider
      range of input sources than just W3C members.  Len Bullard
      once described it as 'every SGML-er with a modem".
  (2) It was a consensus to retain PUBLIC identifiers.
  (3) Arguments pro and con can be found in the archives, just as
      David Durand indicated

In fact, the thread ('The importance of PUBLIC') had this, from


:        The issue seems to me to be one if
: _ownership_and_accountability_.
: [...]
:        The point about public identifiers is that they provide
: 1)      redundancy - i.e. a fallback if the URL fails
: 2)      accountability - the syntax of public identifiers is linked
:         to a registration procedure and places responsibility on the
:         content owner to follow certain rules
: 3)      a universe higher than that of the machine to resolve the
:         reference.
:       When the ERB was debating whether to add PUBLIC to the
: XML-LANG syntax, the stumbling block was the difficulty of providing
: a reliable standard procedure to resolve the references. I would
: argue that it is precisely _because_ public identifiers cannot be
: fully resolved by the system that they are so important. Any
: identifier that can be fully resolved by the system will only be as
: reliable as the system. When the system breaks, we need (a) to know
: it has broken and (b) to be able to resolve the problem outside the
: system. This means there must be redundancy _and_ recourse to
: something beyond the system. This is precisely what PUBLIC provides. 

I'll only add that you (and the W3C) are free to dismiss such
concerns, perhaps even to demand definitive proof of such concerns,
but please don't offer a definitive opinion on something that has
*divided* opinions for a loooooong time.  Thanks.

Received on Wednesday, 16 February 2000 00:44:54 UTC

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