W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > January 1997

Entity Ignorance

From: Terry Allen <tallen@fsc.fujitsu.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 08:17:46 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <199701291617.IAA20634@ishtar.fsc.fujitsu.com>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
Tim Bray writes:
| My conception of Well-Formedness has always been along the lines of
| "you can build the right parse tree".  Now, we have partially ducked
| that by saying that you don't have to fetch & parse external text entities;
| but you do have to know what the reference is pointing at.

I'm sorry to have missed this point (4.3, number 8) first time around.
This is unacceptable, and the rationale, "... may not be appropriate
for other applications, in particular document browsing," is 
unconvincing.  How can you browse a document if you can't see it all?
How can you expect people to use a markup scheme if the results are
undefined ("yeah, sure, you can use entities, but that text may
just turn up missing")?  As this makes entities essentially useless,
why not get rid of them altogether?

And how is this compatible with SGML?  

(I will not engage in any discussion about whether an author
has the right to expect the integrity of his document to be
repected by an comformant application; if you want to take that
view, please change the subject line so I can ignore you.)

    Terry Allen    Fujitsu Software Corp.    tallen@fsc.fujitsu.com
"In going on with these experiments, how many pretty systems do we build,
 which we soon find outselves obliged to destroy?" - Benjamin Franklin
  A Davenport Group Sponsor:  http://www.ora.com/davenport/index.html
Received on Wednesday, 29 January 1997 11:18:17 UTC

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