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Re: KISS (was: Parameter entity references in WF docs)

From: Martin Bryan <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com>
Date: Mon, 02 Jun 1997 11:36:13 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: cbullard@hiwaay.net
Cc: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
At 11:23 1/6/97 -0500, len bullard wrote:
>  On the other hand, I do know 
>which features of SGML and which implementations of SGML give
>the perception of difficulty and overbuilt parameterized DTDs are 
>among them.  

Many years of experience has shown that the best way to get users to
understand DTDs is to break them up into small digestable pieces that are
easy to understand, rather than to try to give them a one-size-fits-all
solution. The easiest way to do this is to create the DTD as a set of
reusable fragments that can be fitted together using PEs to make a complete
model for a final deliverable. Only by using such approaches do you get user

> We have to know when an argument is good 
>for the goose and the gander and who gets to be the goose.
>MS is just one of the animals in this barnyard.

The goose is the twerp who tries to create, deliver and maintain DTDs
withiout using PEs! The greedy gander at the moment would seem to be 'lazy'
developers who want to duck the problem.

We must at least follow Henry's solution and allow PEs for calling in
element sets if not elsewhere. For real world use, though, we should allow
PE's in models as well.

(If we do end up restricting parameter entities to containing just complete
markup instructions then I would argue that my original suggestion re adding
namespace identifiers to the parameter entity declarations makes more sense
than Henry's idea of using name space declarations based on marked sections.)
Martin Bryan, The SGML Centre, Churchdown, Glos. GL3 2PU, UK 
Phone/Fax: +44 1452 714029   WWW home page: http://www.sgml.u-net.com/
Received on Monday, 2 June 1997 06:36:46 UTC

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