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Re: [xmlProfiles-29] TAG recommendation for work on subset of XML 1.1

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 17:07:53 -0500
To: ht@cogsci.ed.ac.uk (Henry S. Thompson)
Cc: richard@cogsci.ed.ac.uk, www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF81710C64.EF12AB43-ON85256CC5.0078AB8E@lotus.com>

Henry Thompson writes:

>> I made the proposal in the form I did to catch 
>> all and only what I understood the SOAP 
>> requirements to be, but I suspect you're 
>> right that just skipping the whole thing is better.

(speaking only for myself, not officially for the XMLP WG)

As far as I know, SOAP hasn't expressed a requirement for anything.  SOAP 
is an application of XML.  It so happens that a legal implementation of 
SOAP will never put a DOCTYPE or a PI into a SOAP message.  It also won't 
put in an <animal:elephant> tag as a child of the <soap:envelope>; neither 
is allowed by SOAP.   As far as I'm concerned neither restriction directly 
represents or suggests a requirement for anything to be included in future 
XML specifications.

SOAP protocol bindings can use any representation they like as a wire 
format.  Some of those may not even have representations that could 
correspond to a DOCTYPE, implying that there is no way a receiver could 
see one at all.  The interesting case, of course, is when the binding 
chooses to use an XML 1.x serialization, which is what the supplied HTTP 
implementation does.   In that case, you could imagine a  buggy sender 
managing to transmit what is an otherwise legal SOAP message with a 
DOCTYPE or PI.  With the exception of one small exception that's allowed 
only for performance, receivers receiving such representations must 
reflect errors >at the SOAP level<.  It's not an XML error, it's a SOAP 
error.  Same as if an <animal:elephant> shows up.

So, nothing in this includes a "SOAP requirement" as far as I know.  Some 
who have seen these design decisions have come to their own conclusions 
that a subset defined at the XML level would be better.  I'm not 
completely convinced, but that's what the TAG has quite appropriately 
suggested that the XML Activity, core group and/or Advisory Committee 
consider per the usual W3C process.   I'm glad to see that analysis 
starting, and I'm curious whether a subset, a conformance level, a new 
version of XML (deprecating the featues in question) or doing nothing will 
prove on balance to be the best course.  Right now, I don't feel that I 
know the answer, but I'm quite convinced that SOAP itself has no 
"requirement" in this area.  Thanks!

Noah Mendelsohn                              Voice: 1-617-693-4036
IBM Corporation                                Fax: 1-617-693-8676
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Received on Thursday, 6 February 2003 17:11:11 UTC

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