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Re: Why DOCTYPE Declarations for XHTML?

From: Murray Altheim <altheim@eng.sun.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 16:59:39 -0800
Message-ID: <38850C7B.7C99F844@eng.sun.com>
To: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
CC: www-html@w3.org
Arjun Ray wrote:
> On Tue, 18 Jan 2000, Murray Altheim wrote:
> I think Eliot means that it's not useful to view a document-specific
> definition as a type definition.  It can certainly be useful to repeat the
> same definition in many documents - and know/believe that the same
> definition is being repeated - which is what I think you're saying.  The
> point is that while a true type definition has to exist independent of any
> particular instance, there is no way in straight SGML/XML to invoke such a
> definition *by type* in an instance.  Thus, the point of a meta-DTD in the
> AF formalism, for example, is that such a DTD is not a syntactic component
> of an instance, whereas the declaration subset - the effective instance
> specific DTD - in a doctype declaration necessarily is.  The two -
> definitions for an instance, and definitions for a type - should not be
> conflated.  That's not to say that an instance specific conflation can't
> be intended, but this *is* a separate (and separable) issue.
> (I'm practically certain that you, specifically, know all this.  I'm
> having trouble accepting that The Powers That Be don't understand the
> issue: looks more like the PTB are *refusing* to acknowledge it.)

Well, if you can't step back and listen to your words, let me tell you:
you sound religious. They also sound religious, and their religion and
your religion don't believe in the other. "Refusing to acknowledge the
obvious truth of my argument" is something I've heard from fundamentalists.
I'm not exactly an agnostic (maybe a Taoist), and I have no choice but 
to try to work pragmatically within the W3C, and as I've said before, 
I'm already considered too much of an SGML'er. They won't go for anything
to do with ISO 10744 unless we can state it in some way that is 

> > Since the beginning of XHTML m12n there's been an
> > empty XHTML module named "XHTML 1.1 Base Architecture" whose content
> > looks like this:
> > [...]
> > If you look, this is actually included in our current distribution.
> A fulltext search for '10744' yielded zilch in these three (single file
> version) documents:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/xhtml11-20000105.html
> http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-modularization/xhtml-modularization-20000105.html
> http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-building/xhtml-building-20000105.html

If you click on either "ZIP archive" or "Gzip'd TAR archive" and download
the actual module distribution, you'll find a file named 'xhtml-arch-1.mod'
(or 'xhtml11-arch-1.mod' in earlier versions). It's in the distribution of
files in the tar.gz and .zip files, but not described in the prose text. 

> > But I honestly can't go in and suggest this as an *alternative* to XML
> > validation using DOCTYPE declarations and DTDs, which as I've said
> > does hold substantial value for our audience, to whom architectures
> > are understood as namespaces and some magic handwaving.
> As I suggested, just get rid of #4 in the conformance requirements.  The
> part that has crunch is already in #1 and #2.

No, not get rid of #4. In looking at Section xx of the ISO 15445 standard 
I think there may be a middle ground that I will investigate. But there's
a limit to where I can take this as I hope you can understand.

Murray wrote:
> If you want to assist in filling out the AFDR for XHTML,
> and think this is valuable please step up to the plate.

I explicitly asked if you would assist in writing the AF declarations
for XHTML, and you avoided the question. Should I take this as 
unwillingness or merely your wish to keep toying with me? :-)


Murray Altheim                                   <mailto:altheim@sonic.net>
Member of Technical Staff, Tools Development & Support
Sun Microsystems, Inc. MS MPK17-102
1601 Willow Rd., Menlo Park, California 94025  <mailto:altheim@eng.sun.com>

   the honey bee is sad and cross and wicked as a weasel
   and when she perches on you boss she leaves a little measle -- archy
Received on Wednesday, 19 January 2000 04:06:18 UTC

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