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Re: Errors or am I misreading the standard?

From: Dan Vint <dvint@cstone.net>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 21:09:14 -0400
Message-Id: <4.1.19990426210808.00a24970@cstone.net>
To: cmsmcq@acm.org
Cc: xml-editor@w3.org, dvint@cstone.net
Thanks for the follow up. I've worked with SGML for sometime (not that I
have tracked the spec as heavily in recent years as I have just done with
the XML) and so I knew that these things were ok from an SGML standpoint
because I had seen them used.

I'm curious if many other people have had troubles with these areas. Most
of the other rules all seem to flow nicely except for: 
78 extParsedEnt
79 extPE
30 extSubset
33 LanguageID
6   Names
8    Nmtokens

these are all orphaned rules that only connect up through the text of the

I looked at Tim Bray's annotated spec, Bob Ducharm's book version and a
couple of other books and they all just sort of blindly go with what is
presented and there is no analysis or explanation as to how you get to
these rules and how PEs can be used in element content models. 

It seems like there is room for lots of interpretation or incomplete
reading that will cause some interesting debate at least. Isn't the
approach taken here not quite a EBNF definition of the language. Its been
some time since I've read about it in school and all, but it did seem like
there was a requirement for a single starting point from which you should
be able to get to everything. 

I'm writing yet another book on XML and I'm trying to figure out how to now
account for these particular parts of the spec. I'm going to have to go in
and read this more closely to find the connection points, where a very
specific reference in the content model description section saying - "we
know the rule isn't provided  but parameter entities are allowed in the
element names and content models" and then something similar in the
Parameter entity definition section saying this is one of the intended uses
would certainly seem more straight forward. Instead it seems like I have
some references to the concept, but nothing strongly presented. The
strongest statement seems to come from the VC for the parameter entity use.

From my point of view, knowing how the standards come about (and having
worked with some of the SGML details) it is hard to tell if some of these
things were meant to be this way or it the "tieing together" or linking
features were deleted, but not all of the details, or if they were
incomplete thoughts/concepts.

I appreciate the time you took in answering the previous note and in
reading this one. 

I would like to give you the opportunity to maybe get in print an
explanation or what was thought to link these features up as I feel
compelled to try and link them into an understandable model. Now that what
I thought was a smooth flow through the EBNF has some problems, I want to
point to the pieces of text that allow these rules to be used. 

If there is an official or even discussed logic that you would like to
throw my way, I'll use it - otherwise I will be taking a stab at trying to
say "parameter entities are allowed in element content model because ...."
I would say 95% of this stuff flows in a logical manner and I guess this is
why that large explanation about entities was introduced to manage these
questions, but after getting lulled into nice clear definitions for
everything else, these couple just seemed very odd.

I'm not trying to be troublesome here, just a user of the tools being
provided trying to understand their design.


         \_...._( )
          |a a  )`|
      ___ /`._ / /     Dan Vint
  -==[___]\/;  \'      http://www.slip.net/~dvint
Received on Monday, 26 April 1999 21:10:46 UTC

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