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Re: New draft of XML spec DTD

From: Roger Price <rprice@cs.uml.edu>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 13:50:09 -0500 (EST)
To: "Mailing list: spec-prod" <spec-prod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.96.980311134645.31985C-100000@jupiter.cs.uml.edu>
Eve Maler writes: 
> ...working draft of the XML spec DTD...I'd like folks to beat on it
> a bit

May I comment from the more distant perspective of someone who writes
for SDO's other than the W3C?

>         Alignment attributes.  No default. -->
> <!ENTITY % trtd.att
>         "align          (left...

>         bgcolor         CDATA           #IMPLIED

I raised an eyebrow when I saw this.  What happened to the separation
of content and style?

> <!ELEMENT bibl (%bibl.pcd.mix;)*>
> <!--    HREF attribute:
>         bibl optionally functions as a hypertext reference to the
>         referred-to resource through this attribute. -->

Anders Berglund in his massive DTD for the ISO/IEC gave a lot of
structure to the bibliography which was almost an approximate match
for the well known BibTeX, whereas %bibl.pcd.mix; looks more like free
flowing text at the mercy of the editor's initiative.  A DTD for more
general use might need more structure here.

I couldnt find an element for a normative reference as opposed to an
informative bibliographic reference.  Normative references are very
strong in the ISO/IEC.  They effectively write the referenced text
into the specification in a normative way.

> <!ENTITY % pubdate.mdl
>         "day?, month, year">

Since ISO 8601 calls for the order year,month,day and since this is
required by law in at least one country, perhaps it would be better to
say "year,month,day?".
ISO/IEC JTC1 specifications are required to have statements of their
scope and field of application, their normative references, their
terms and definitions and the requirements they satisfy.  It would be
easier to identify these components in an exchanged text if they had
specific elements.  An attribute could indicate that the material was
not available.

It would also be helpful to identify parts of a specification which
are published separately, e.g. ISO/IEC 8859 Parts 1 through 10.

Most SDO texts have reference numbers, and some have several.  For
example ISO/IEC 2022 is also ECMA-35.  It would be convenient for
database applications to have this information in a suitable element.

SDO's such as the ITU have more than one official language, and there
are National Body (NB) members of JTC1 that have more than one
official language.  The ITU works in French, English and Spanish.  It
would facilitate exchange in such cases if the DTD allowed
multilingual specifications, or at least specification of which
language is in use, and identification of the translations.

> <!ELEMENT subtitle (#PCDATA)>
> <!ATTLIST subtitle %common.att;>

Subtitles would need language attributes for a JTC1 text.

> <!ENTITY % header.mdl
>         "title, subtitle?, version, w3c-designation, w3c-doctype,
>         pubdate, notice*, publoc, prevlocs?, latestloc?, authlist,
>         status, abstract, pubstmt?, sourcedesc?, langusage,
>         revisiondesc">

Most of this is metainformation, yet I found no reference to the
Dublin Core.  Was this deliberate?

Roger Price                    Dept of Computer Science, Umass Lowell
Received on Wednesday, 11 March 1998 13:50:14 UTC

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