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Re: Parameter entities vs. GI name groups

From: B. Tommie Usdin <btusdin@mulberrytech.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997 14:07:23 -0400
Message-Id: <v03007805afcf2044549b@DialupEudora>
To: "Eve L. Maler" <elm@arbortext.com>
Cc: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
>The ERB, in its meeting yesterday, discussed the issue of parameter
>entities in XML.  We are *strongly* leaning towards voting to remove
>parameter entities entirely *from V1.0*  ...

It seems to me that is really a political question, or perhaps a
theological one.  Removing PEs from XML will make it a much poorer
language.  It will also make it a simpler language. Allowing GI name groups
will not significantly ameliorate the reduction in functionality caused by
the loss of parameter entities.

The gain in simplicity may outweigh the loss of functionality.  The reduced
functionality may, itself, be considered a benefit, since it will force
many applications over the line into full SGML. Perhaps this is a good
strategy for ensuring that users will use XML as the famous "on-ramp" to
SGML instead of sticking with XML.

If the intent is for XML to be used as an interchange form in environments
with robust applications and complex data structures (created as an output
form from SGML), then I think there is no problem with removing parameter

If the intent is for people to create and maintain complex structures in
XML, I think removing parameter entities would be unfortunate.

I don't care for the implication that GI name groups substitute for
parameter entities.  If XML doesn't have parameter entities we'll all cope,
but the decision should be a clean one, about parameter entities and the
way their presence or absence will affect how XML meets its goals.  GI name
groups are a Red Herring, or at least an insignificant sop, in this

-- Tommie

B. Tommie Usdin                     Phone: 301/231-6934
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.           Fax: 301/231-6935
6010 Executive Blvd., Suite 608    E-mail: btusdin@mulberrytech.com
Rockville, MD  20852                  WWW: http://www.mulberrytech.com
Received on Thursday, 19 June 1997 14:40:56 UTC

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