W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > October 1996

Re: C.4 Undeclared entities?

From: Bill Smith <bill.smith@Eng.Sun.COM>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 17:33:24 -0700 (PDT)
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <libSDtMail.9610211733.23528.bsmith@providence>
Len Bullard wrote:

> I am missing the point of this debate.  I understand the need for 
> the mythical undergrad to construct a parser in a week with the 
> Dragon book in one hand and the BNF grammar in the other (typing 
> with his nose, I guess).

It seems there is disagreement over whether a DTD (real or imagined) is required 
in order to process XML documents. From my perspective, we can not require DTDs 
in XML 1.0 and have any chance of acceptance.

> 1.  What exactly will the XML parser do?  What is it's output?

I'm more concerned with applications and how they are used - either by a machine 
or a human. 

> 2.  Does this preclude the use of the DTD?  Even in IADS and 
> IDE/AS where we do not use the DTD anywhere in the rendering
> pipeline because we simplified the SGML requirements first, and 
> the application parser is using stylesheet declarations, we still
> found in production, we needed SGMLS and a DTD for validation.

Let the application (user) dictate whether a DTD is required.

> As long as a DTD is not precluded and one can be required based 
> on the user's needs and decisions by the user, XML can safely say it is 
> "SGML without DTDs".  I can tell you from real experience, 
> experienced SGML users will snicker while the HTML users 
> will go on using HTML oblivious to the whole debate.

What occurs between consenting users is not my concern. However, requiring DTDs, 
especially from the void, is of concern to me. Let (some) "experienced SGML 
users" snicker. I for one will not because document structure and tag 
extensibility, whether enforced or not, are powerful concepts that will be 
understood if properly presented. 

HTML users may in fact be oblivious to this debate - that is their gain. 
However, they won't ignore the issue that HTML is not sufficient for their 
needs. Solutions to their problems will be found, and they will look far more 
like VisualBasic or JavaScript than any markup language we have devised.

> So DeadGreekPoets aside, what feature cannot be provided with
> XML and No DTD?

Received on Monday, 21 October 1996 20:33:34 UTC

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