EMBED and validation

Simon St.Laurent SimonStL at classic.msn.com
Fri Nov 28 05:10:55 GMT 1997

>No; it's not part of the document; it's a hyperlink to something
>completely different; there's no reason to expect what it points at
>to be XML. -Tim

While there is no reason to expect the target to be XML (which I strongly 
approve of), I have to wonder what's supposed to happen if the target _is_ 
XML.  If the target is another complete XML document, including a document 
type declaration, then I can see the wisdom of parsing it separately and 
keeping it separate.  If the target is XML but not a complete document, for 
instance a set of elements returned by a reference using XPointers, I'm not 
sure about what the application should do. 

Is the application supposed to treat this chunk as (hopefully) well-formed XML 
in a separate parsing process? Would it be legitimate for an application to 
fold EMBEDded chunks into the document containing the link for purposes of 
styling in particular but also validation in certain circumstances?  Many 
situations will arise in which EMBEDded content needs to be styled, but the 
chunk of XML referenced by the link contains neither document type declaration 
or styling information.

My instinct is to be as conservative as possible and make sure that all XML 
chunks EMBEDded by a link could be folded into the linking document without 
making it invalid, but this is a more radical constraint than I expect most 
developers would like.  Leaving this behavior up to the application is 
probably the only course available at present, but I suspect this practice may 
lead to considerable chaos.

XML-Link has opened up realms of capability that go far beyond those provided 
by entities and notations, and I look forward to using them.  

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer / XML: A Primer (January) / Cookies (February)

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