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Re: Radical cure for BOS confusion

From: David G. Durand <dgd@cs.bu.edu>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 13:45:16 -0500
Message-Id: <v02130502aef99828d7db@[]>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
At 9:28 PM 1/7/97, Jon Bosak wrote:
>|     No, it's like the level of experience required to make the "one true
>| DTD." To the naive, we may look as if we have the experience to do that
>| too, but we know it's impossible.
>I admit that my estimation may be overly optimistic.  But for all
>their faults, standardized DTDs have proven useful.  And this wouldn't
>be the "one true DTD", it would just be a minimal standard format for
>sets of ilinks to be used in XML.

As I understood the proposal, ilinks would only be legal in separate
documents according to this DTD. That seems like the "one true ilink DTD"
to me.

>|     Let's face it ilinks are powerful. For the same reason, ilinks are hard
>| to understand. This fundamental fact won't change if we add a few
>| restrictions, I think.
>Well, your experience may vary, but I was finding it a *lot* easier to
>understand ilinks when they were corraled into sets with a standard
>format and bound to specific documents with explicit includes.  I
>could teach someone to do that.  There's no way I could teach someone
>to follow the BOS discussion.

The discussion was (and is) quite hairy because of of many overlapping
terms and proposals, along with parallel discussions of matters of fact
about what HyTime and TEI actually do, as well as what XML linking _should
do_. I don't think the few proposals have been very complicated or hard to
>I put the "radical cure" forward in order to be shot down, but to
>shoot it down you're going to have to exhibit a solution that's that
>easy to understand and still gets the basic job done.  Show me.

I think I already did. I'll try again, as succinctly as my bloated prose
style allows.

We need a new architectural form "required-for-processing":

<!element required-for-processing EMPTY>
<!attlist required-for-processing
   -XML-ARCH #FIXED "required-for-processing"
   -XML-required-doc CDATA #REQUIRED>
Each "required-for-processing" document should be loaded by a processor
when its containing document is processed. It is a recoverable error if
this cannot be done (but the resulting document may then not work right).

Since this is true for any document, in including a required document, the
recursion falls out naturally, but is under explicit user control. The
documents required by a given document form its "XML BOS".

"Ilinks" are links that do not reside at an endpoint of the data they they
links, and may not even reside in the same document. Ilinks in an XML BOS
should be resolvable relative to documents in that BOS.


I just don't see that this is that complicated. Is this is a clearer way of
explaining it?

  -- David

I am not a number. I am an undefined character.
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 Wednesday, 8 January 1997 13:38:17 UTC

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