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Re: B.10 Empty elements?

From: David G. Durand <dgd@cs.bu.edu>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 22:52:55 -0400
Message-Id: <v02130502ae8c871a4a9f@[]>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
   I think empty elements are needed, and that the <empty></empty> syntax
is unnacceptable. I think we should ignore the BUGs in ESIS that reflect
the view that empty elements are useful containers that _cannot contain
anything_. Empty elements are useful for _point_ phenomena in a text. They
identify a position in the text and attach properties to it (a good example
being TEI milestones). This is an important kind of thing to describe, and
is accordingly common.

I think that in this case we can diverge to one of the NET syntaxes (I like
<point-tag/> myself). We are already going to have to explain that without
a fixed DTD (like HTML has) we need end tags; given that we are already
violating people's HTML expectations for an explainable reason, we can use
the same grounds to justify self-revealing "EMPTY" tags. I tend to agree
with the opinion of some that a partial DTD gets us into a hard place: now
we don't just have maybe a DTD, maybe not a DTD, but perhaps an incomplete
DTD. Conformance will be too hard to specify, and people will be confused.
Since the NET solutions are at least nominally SGML (if uncommon SGML that
most editors cannot generate), they even pass the hard SGML compatibility
test we have saddled ourselves with.

  -- David

RE delenda est.

David Durand              dgd@cs.bu.edu  \  david@dynamicDiagrams.com
Boston University Computer Science        \  Sr. Analyst
http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/dgd/   \  Dynamic Diagrams
--------------------------------------------\  http://dynamicDiagrams.com/
MAPA: mapping for the WWW                    \__________________________
Received on Thursday, 17 October 1996 22:48:25 UTC

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