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Re: SGML on the web (was: when will CSS rule)

From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 10:00:58 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199611211501.KAA29590@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
To: preece@predator.urbana.mcd.mot.com (Scott E. Preece)
Cc: msftrncs@htcnet.com, www-style@w3.org
> | >It would require a DTD, a DTD is not compact to type and download.
> | 
> | That isn't the case. See http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/TR/WD-xml-961114.html
> | section 3.2 DTDs are no longer required.
> ---
> 
> Um, XML is "a dialect of SGML" - it is not all of SGML.  It still seems
> to me that many of the key benefits of SGML do require a DTD.  

I have said that many times during this discussion. I guess the "key" word is
"key". I see the benefits of extensible generic markup to be *huge* with or
without SGML's other benefits. This is what I am trying to point out to 
Carl.

>On the
> other hand, DTDs *are* reasonably compact and they are eminently
> sharable, so I don't really see the need for a DTD as a problem.

It is only a problem because we cannot expect the hackers that make the
parsers in modern browsers to implement another parser for DTDs.

> It's still the case that standard DTDs are required if we are to get the
> best use out of indexing/search systems, since the best searching
> requires some awareness of the semantics of the data, which means the
> indexer or the search engine must know something about the "meaning" of
> the tags it finds.

We either need standard languages, or mappings from non-standard languages to 
standard semantics.  I suspect both approaches will be used on the Web 
indefinately. I have avoided the word "DTD" to describe XML-based languages
because they do not actually need a DTD, so the words are no longer 
interchangable.

 Paul Prescod
Received on Thursday, 21 November 1996 10:27:42 GMT

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