W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-xml-schema-comments@w3.org > April to June 2004

[Fwd: Re: Why bother using DTDs?]

From: Alan Plum <ashmodai@mushroom-cloud.com>
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 2004 00:05:28 +0200
Message-ID: <4075CCA8.30807@mushroom-cloud.com>
To: www-xml-schema-comments@w3.org

On www-html there was an off-topic thread about possible replacements 
for DTDs (most importantly, ways to link to a schema without the 
schemaLocation attribute, which is documented to serve as a suggestion, 
not a direct link, and to entity definition lists like those already 
used by the XHTML 1.0 and HTML 4.01 DTDs - see forwarded message).

I think this topic deserves more than just rotting away in the wrong 
mailing list, so here are the URIs of the thread and all related messages:

a  <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2004Apr/0032.html>
a-1  <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2004Apr/0033.html>
b  <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2004Apr/0038.html>
b-1  <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2004Apr/0036.html>
c  <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2004Apr/0034.html>
c-1  <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2004Apr/0041.html>
d  <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2004Apr/0035.html>


-------- Original Message --------
From: Orion Adrian <oadrian@hotmail.com>
To: ashmodai@mushroom-cloud.com, www-html@w3.org
Date: Mon, 05 Apr 2004 13:00:38 -0400
Message-ID: <BAY1-F119yjy8fbAAhM00028e6d@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: Why bother using DTDs?
List-Id: <www-html.w3.org>

>>Actually I really dislike the schemaLocation attribute. I'd like to see 
>>anything that requires instantiating another engine to be put into a 
>>processing instruction. It's also a much cleaner looking method in my 
>>opinion. A few examples:
>><?xml-stylesheet href="" type="" ?>
>><?xml-schema namespace="" href="" type="" ?>
>><?xml-entity symbol="" value="" ?>
>>Here the type attribute allows the document to specify the mime type 
>>associated with the language used. I do not want to see a lockin to any 
>>XML technologies because there are always going to be people (like myself 
>>occasionally) who don't like the standards as is. In the long run I'd like 
>>to see the DOCTYPE portion of a document deprecated and eventually removed 
>>from the standard.
>Agreed, PIs for entities and schemas would be a good solution, although 
>having pretty much every single entity of XHTML 1.1 declared as a PI in 
>every document would seem rather awkward.
>Only using those that make sense would be a good solution. Another would be 
>having something along the lines of
><?xml-entity-definitions href="..." 

A very good suggestion, I'd love to see something like this.

>Anyway, that would lead to less standardization, but it would also mean 
>better modularization, which is what the W3C is currently into anyway.

Perhaps the DOCTYPE area could be replaced with something that just handles
entities. I think that a combination of the two approaches might be nice. A
processing instruction to point to a document that contains entities and an
element that allows you to embed the same contents.

>Having standardized entity lists hosted at W3C (there already are some, 
>unless I'm mistaken - the DTDs link to them AFAIR) would be a good 

Standardization like this is essential yes.

>>Processing instructions are powerful tools that it seems many of the 
>>working groups seem to have forgotten. Perhaps a body-wide document 
>>affecting conventions in standards. One of the new problems I've found is 
>>that embedding RDF or XSD in an HTML document just looks weird because of 
>>the inconsistencies in capitalization. Though I've mentioned this in 
>>regards to HTML, this is a body-wide problem.
>Capitalization tends to be a bit weird, but I don't think you were trying 
>to say that this should be a reason not to embed other XML languages in an 
>existing file, eh? ;)

No it doesn't, but this should have never been a problem. This could be
attributed to growth, but consistent naming conventions I think are
critical. Being that HTML is by far the most used standard and the 
thing to have things embedded, perhaps other languages should model their
behavior after it.

Orion Adrian
Received on Thursday, 8 April 2004 18:03:52 UTC

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