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RE: DTD for protocol-03?

From: Yaron Goland <yarong@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 10:12:29 -0700
Message-ID: <11352BDEEB92CF119F3F00805F14F48503DFC74D@RED-44-MSG.dns.microsoft.com>
To: "'Dave Hollander'" <dmh@hpsgml.fc.hp.com>
Cc: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
I can easily justify it, the number of people in the HTTP community who
can read DTDs is tiny. Our goal is to produce a specification for the
HTTP community, not the HTML community nor the XML community. We
leverage a tiny part of XML to let us create structured data. I am
beginning to wonder if the cost of doing so isn't too high.


PS My experience working on IE 3.0 and IE 4.0 leads me to believe that
the number of people in the HTML community who can read DTDs is also
tiny. That is why HTML parsers have to be so forgiving. In the real
world people learn HTML by looking at examples because no one can read
the specs.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Dave Hollander [SMTP:dmh@hpsgml.fc.hp.com]
> Sent:	Tuesday, October 07, 1997 9:17 AM
> To:	Yaron Goland
> Cc:	w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
> Subject:	Re: DTD for protocol-03? 
> A lurker comes forward--I have been following this effort for some
> time
> now and am very pleased at your progress. However, when I read Yaron's
> note, I feel the need to speak up. 
> In summary, if you are committed to using the XML syntax to express 
> your protocol, then I see no way to justify a syntax expression
> language 
> except that used by XML--DTDs.
> Regards,
> Dave Hollander
> > DTDs are NOT necessary for XML and in fact are seen as being
> deprecated
> > by many parts of the XML community. 
> While some, including myself, in the XML community believe that DTDs
> are
> not needed for informal communication, I know of no one who deprecates
> DTDs for use in formal efforts such as this one. Yes, there are those
> who 
> would like to change the DTD syntax, but until that is done by the
> community, DTDs are the only way to formally define a syntax.
> > Furthermore the DTD syntax is not
> > well known amongst the HTTP community, of which DAV is a member,
> while
> > BNF is.
> There has been a HTML DTD for years, and the DTD is the center of much
> of
> the effort for HTML work. I find it difficult to believe that there
> are
> significantly more people who understand the subtleties of BNF than
> DTDs.
> > 
> > Given that providing a DTD is not necessity for XML and that we will
> > still have to provide our current syntax I propose that we add DTDs,
> as
> > an appendix, to the final draft. Until we reach that final draft,
> there
> > is little point in having to maintain two sets of definitions.
> As Dan Connolly showed when he did the first HTML DTD, there are a lot
> of
> subtle yet important differences between a syntax developed using DTDs
> and
> DTDs that a created to document a syntax. The former is much, much
> better.
Received on Tuesday, 7 October 1997 13:12:53 UTC

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