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Re: SOAP's prohibiting use of XML internal subset

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 14:08:15 -0800
Message-ID: <053d01c294cf$a617e480$f4457743@mnotlaptop>
To: "Tim Bray" <tbray@textuality.com>, "Paul Grosso" <pgrosso@arbortext.com>
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>

>  I think the Web Services community ought
> to be real nervous about flying in the face of an IETF BCP.

Why? It's a Best Current Practice, and it is explicitly scoped to use of
XML within *IETF* protocols. It's just that community's best current
thinking (words directly from RFC2026) on a particular topic, and may
(dare I say probably will) change.

Granted, if there is a desire to make it possible to use Web services as
the basis of IETF protocols, there might be cause for concern; however,
that isn't a requirement that I've heard for a while, and I imagine that
the IETF isn't terribly inclined to start using them willy-nilly either;
Web services have a different audience.

> - On the other hand, I think it's entirely reasonable that SOAP agents
> be forbidden from being required or expected or even allowed to charge
> off fetching DTDs or external parameter entities at run times, for
> obvious performance and security reasons.

This gets to the heart of the question, I think; can specific applications
of XML restrict the use of syntactic mechanisms it defines? The answer
seems to be "yes." I don't think it's supportable to be selective about
this, at least at this granularity.

> - That granted, forbidding an internal subset seems kind of dumb.
> Speaking as an XML processor implementor, the extra code required is
> hardly detectable and the performance gain not significiant.
> Furthermore, every XML processor in the world just silently does the
> internal subset and it's going to cost *extra work* for SOAP
> implementations to check that they haven't.  I.e. you can't use an
> ordinary off-the-shelf non-validating XML processor.

Perhaps the WG has a good reason for this prohibition; have they been
Received on Monday, 25 November 2002 17:12:23 UTC

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