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RE: XML Information Set

From: Lheureux,Benoit <benoit.lheureux@gartner.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 1999 02:13:55 -0400
Message-ID: <69A38F8986F3D211A6B00008C7912106010B32D8@mammoth.gartner.com>
To: David Megginson <david@megginson.com>, www-xml-infoset-comments@w3.org
Members of the XML Information Set Working Group,

Enclosed are my observations wrt the relative importance of XML comments as
an "integral part" of an XML document.

David (et al),

One reason why XML comments are important and therefore an "integral part"
of the XML document is that some enterprises use XML comments as one way (of
3) to "work around" DTD's limited expressive abilities. XML comments have
been used, for example, to document data type and value constraints on XML
elements. Another use is to document operations on XML documents (obviously
a crude predecessor to formal syntax, then later even embedded byte-stream
of some sort, maybe Java). While external documentation (literally, a
separate word processing file) are also often used, comments within the DTD
have been useful, particularly when there is a desire to have the DTD be
wholly "self describing", even if only to developers (i.e. not to the
received application at runtime). While there are other work arounds (e.g.,
proprietary XML extensions and validating application logic), certainly in
some cases XML comments "complete" a DTD, thus if they were ignored or
stripped off in some form of XML document "distillation to real content"
process this could reduce the documents' semantic content. This is
different, for example, from white space characters that are not within an
element's value, which presumably have no logical or semantic value. I have
attached a research note which talks about DTD usage from our clients'


- BJL, 203/316-6925 (direct line)

Benoit J. Lheureux
Research Director
Application Integration and Middleware Strategies
Gartner Group
56 Gallant Road
P.O. Box 10212
Stamford, CT  06904-2212
203/316-6614 Kristi Lukaniec, AIMS co-ordinator
203/316-1233 Quick Path for inquiries and briefings

-----Original Message-----
From: David Megginson [mailto:david@megginson.com]
Sent: Friday, July 02, 1999 9:29 AM
To: Lheureux,Benoit
Subject: RE: XML Information Set

Lheureux,Benoit writes:

 > Thanks for your time and explanation ... think I understand.
 > BTW: IMHO, from a practical perspectice comments should be an integral
 > ;-)

If you have the time, it would be very helpful if you could send a
paragraph or two to www-xml-infoset-comments@w3.org explaining why you 
think comments are important.  That's our official address for
comments on the spec, and your message will be archived and will be
considered by the spec's editor.

Thanks, and all the best,


David Megginson                 david@megginson.com

Received on Monday, 5 July 1999 02:14:10 UTC

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