Steven R. Newcomb srn at techno.com
Thu Jun 5 17:48:34 BST 1997

Dear Developers of XML :

XML really, really needs notation data attributes.  Without them, you
can't do object inheritance from architecture (DTD) to architecture
(document, whether it has its own DTD or not).  An inheritable
architecture is, in fact, a notation.  We already support notations in
XML.  What we don't have is the ability to declare the mappings
between the inherited architecture's objects (elements and attributes)
and the document's objects (elements and attributes).  For that, we
need notation data attributes.  It's a small thing, really, but, wow,
what a difference it makes!

The usefulness of inheritance for all kinds of purposes (and not least
for EDI) is too great to ignore; it is one of the most useful and
attractive aspects of SGML.  There is no good reason not to do it in
XML.  So, how about it, ERB?

For a discussion of why architectural inheritability is overwhelmingly
important, you may want to read my (now slightly dated) paper, "SGML
Architectures: Implications and Opportunities for Industry" at

Best regards,


             Steven R. Newcomb   President
         voice +1 716 271 0796   TechnoTeacher, Inc.
           fax +1 716 271 0129   (courier: 23-2 Clover Park,
      Internet: srn at techno.com    Rochester NY 14618)
           FTP: ftp.techno.com   P.O. Box 23795
    WWW: http://www.techno.com   Rochester, NY 14692-3795 USA

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