XML API specification

Peter Murray-Rust Peter at ursus.demon.co.uk
Thu Feb 27 15:06:06 GMT 1997

	Thanks very much.  This is clearer that 300 pp of 10179.  And 
it *does* have a bearing on how we write the API.

In message <du+z2AAWiZFzEwMC at light.demon.co.uk> Richard Light writes:

> We are used to thinking of an SGML document as a tree structure of
> elements, each with lots of miscellaneous additional properties 'hanging
> off the side'.  The grove idea says "let's take this additional stuff,
> and see that as part of the tree as well".  So an element node, for
(in passing, it's clear that we have to resolve the Element/Node naming :-)

> example, now has a subnode containing its GI, and one subnode for each
> [non-implied?] attribute.  Each of these attribute subnodes will in turn
> have subsubnodes containing e.g. the attribute name and value.

OK.  So if, at present I write (using Node rather than Element):
public class Node {
    NodeVector subnodes;
    Attlist attlist;
    PIVector piVector;
    StringVector pcdataVector;

What the grove approach will do is to call these all Nodes and (perhaps)
subclass them:
public class PI extends Node {

and the Node class becomes:

public class Node {
    NodeVector subnodes;   // Nodes, PCDATA, PIS, etc., 

> So, to plunge right into 9.6 and take an example:
>     <classdef rcsnm=attasgn appnm="attribute assignment"
>     conprop=value dsepprop=tokensep clause="79002">
>     <desc>
>     An attribute assignment, whether specified or defaulted.
>     <note>
>     In the base module because of data attributes.
ormation.  (In fact there are usually two names: a short 'Reference
> Concrete Syntax' name and a longer application name, which was
> specifically designed for use "in a programming or scripting
> language".)  The DATATYPE attribute states what type of data the

PLEASE can we all agree to use the long names :-).  I have spent much
of my life hacking FRTRN and I value words that make sense!


> I can't answer that, but can point out that DSSSL specifies three ps
> modules which together 'roughly' correspond to ESIS (baseabs, prlgabs0
> and instabs).  These would be the bits of the SGML Property Set to
> examine first.

I saw that, and assume someone else will explain it!

... I am looking at the section.  This was a bit I hoped was
> 'unimportant'.
> >The XML-WG has been debating whether conecpts from standards outside
> XML can
> >be used without being explicitly in the XML spec.  I would hate to
> think
> >that XML implicitly involved 10179:9.6.  I can accept that it may/will
> come
> >into PhaseIII.
> My take on this is that you start from the XML spec, and find the
> corresponding bits of 9.6 to give you a standard nomenclature.

You have convinced my that this must be taken seriously and (much as I
don't like the immediate consequences) suspect that it's the right thing
to do.  However *if* we all use (say) Attribute consistently, then 
presumably we can convert it later... ?  It can always be subclassed...


Peter Murray-Rust, domestic net connection
Virtual School of Molecular Sciences

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