SOAP's prohibiting use of XML internal subset

One of the design decisions/goals of the XML 1.0 Recommendation [1]
was to have as few optional features as possible [2].  XML 1.0 allows
an XML document to have a prolog that includes some declarations in
what is called the internal subset [3].

An important class of XML documents are those that are "standalone" [4].
In such documents, the only way to provide entity declarations [5] or
attribute defaults [6] is to put such declarations in the internal subset.

It is my understanding that the Last Call draft of SOAP 1.2 [7] makes
use of an XML format that does not permit any internal subset, despite
the fact that XML 1.0 does not define such a profile/subset of XML.  I 
wonder what the definition of such profiles by individual specifications 
will do for interoperability.  

For a case in point, the XML Core WG has been asked to address the 
issue of how to declare "character entities."  Our answer (see [8]) 
is that the way to declare such entities in XML is to use the 
internal subset, an integral part of XML 1.0 that must be supported 
by all compliant XML processors.  The fact that this solution doesn't 
work for SOAP has not overridden the XML Core WG's reluctance to consider 
development and endorsement of new XML syntax to support what is already 
supported in XML 1.0.  However, we recognize that the current situation 
means that the use of entities and attribute defaults is not available 
to SOAP users.

Is this an architectural issue that the TAG wishes to address?

I am writing this message in a personal capacity, as I have not discussed
this particular message with the XML Core WG (though at least parts of the 
issue have been discussed in the WG, and there are clearly parts of the issue
that do touch on XML Core WG work).

I would be interested in hearing any comments the TAG might have on
this situation.


[2] point 5
[7] and others

Received on Monday, 25 November 2002 15:26:49 UTC