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Re: Using HyTime Arcform stuff (was Re: Ephemeral XML?)

From: Digitome Ltd. <digitome@iol.ie>
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 1997 21:20:09 +0000
Message-Id: <199701142040.UAA27680@GPO.iol.ie>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
[David G. Durand]
>   At any rate, I am still anxious that we see if we can do without a
>declaration, and without namespace pollution either, but I suspect that if
>we want to avoid the latter, we will need the former.

I wonder if the effort involved in removing namespace pollution is worth
the effort? I mean, the world is full of structured document formats
(e.g. programming languages, data files of all descriptions) with polluted
namespaces. I have been bitten by a fair few in my time:-

A Unix program called "test" which did nothing (Reason:"test" was interpted
by the shell)
A C program function called access() that would not link (Reason: reserved
in the standard C library)
A \etc\passwd file with a user name "foo:bar" (Reason: ":" reserved separator)
An autoexec.bat that would not execute (Reason: Embedded ^Z character)
An SGML document containing the text "P&L account" that would not parse
(Reason:... you know what.)

My point is that the world is *used* to it.

>If we are going to use PIs to create an AF declaration, we
>should consider getting rid of the attributes altogether, and using syntax
>like this (not HyTime compatible, unfortunately):
><?XML link-arch: ilink clink(a footnote)>

Apart from the "<?XML" and ">" bits, this has the downside of being a brand new 
syntax requiring its own BNF, its own lexical and semantic analysis. 
Would it not be more in keeping with the "XML-mother of all data structures" 
philosophy to encode this as an XML snippit:-
        <ELEMENT name = "ILINK">
        <ELEMENT name = "a">
        <ELEMENT name = "footnote">

Obviously this pollutes the namespace but I am not convinced that this is a
disadvantage. By prefixing all "reserved" element names with "XML-" we would
have a readily understood rule for developers/authors to get their heads
around. Moreover,
non-XML-LINK aware but validating XML tools can catch structural problems in
these areas rather that simply waving the contents of a PI through

David, what am I missing????

Sean Mc Grath

Received on Tuesday, 14 January 1997 15:45:02 UTC

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