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Re: A28: syntax of markup declarations?

From: Michael Sperberg-McQueen <U35395@UICVM.CC.UIC.EDU>
Date: Mon, 07 Oct 96 17:49:01 CDT
Message-Id: <199610072302.TAA06823@www10.w3.org>
To: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>, W3C SGML Working Group <w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org>
On Mon, 7 Oct 1996 15:56:27 -0400 you said:
>But both participants confuse me with their assumption that XML needs
>a markup-declaration language at all. What kinds of tools do we
>expect are going to use these markup-declarations? Probably not
>browsers (after all, we've bent over backwards to exempt them from
>needing DTDs). Probably not search engines (for the same reason). Nor
>do hard-coded tools that use XML as a syntax for passing well-defined
>objects back in forth.

The goals for the project include making it possible to recognize the
element boundaries of the instance without having to consult the DTD; we
may also choose to make it possible to handle the element/mixed content
distinction without reading the DTD in full.  Any application that needs
no more than successful recognition of element boundaries can, if we
meet this goal, work happily without a DTD, or skip one if one is
present.  Since such applications *cannot* skip the DTD in SGML, this
would be a net gain.

But the goals also include making XML usable for all types of
application, not just publication on wide area networks.  If we succeed
in this, then publication can be as simple as copying files into a
public_xml directory, instead of involving a down-translation into some
other language.  Copying is better than down-translation in part because
its faster, simpler, and less error-prone, but more important because
down-translating as a publication step means readers cannot get access
to documents as useful as our working copies.

There may be administrative or policy reasons to remove some information
before publishing a document, but it should be a policy decision, not a
technical necessity.

XML does need markup declarations; without them, it's not usable for
applications that need document grammars.

Received on Monday, 7 October 1996 19:03:07 UTC

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