XML-Data: advantages over DTD syntax? (and some wishes)
mrc at allette.com.au
Thu Oct 2 01:34:40 BST 1997
Jarle Stabell wrote:
> I assume most people today won't edit DTDs (either today's version or XML-Data or similar versions) in the "raw" text format. They will of course use tools, visualizing the hierarchy (XML-Data's extends/implements), selecting values from comboboxes etc.
Not me. Data analysis takes ten times as long as it typing up the DTD. Anyone using a methodical approach to DTD design will tell you that typing it up is only the culmination of a much more extensive process involving much diagramming and arguing with colleagues. I'm not a fan of the tools - I don't want to construct a letter by picking sentences out of a
word processor either.
> I don't view XML-Data as the new syntax, quite the opposite, this I find completely "XML syntax". I view the DTD syntax as another "non-XML" syntax (although this is of course technically uncorrect according to the draft).
Although the syntax may not be new, the imposition or reservation of element types to describe the schema is a long way from what XML is trying to achieve. Also, lets face facts, this is intended as a replacement for DTDs, not a complementary mechanism. The logistics of parsing with either and/or both structures as well as the overhead involved with
describing the schema as an optional element in the DTD (presumably this would be required?) would quickly put everyone off. I'm not suggesting that there's no requirement for extension to what we currently have, but if as you say, people will use pretty tools to create DTDs, I think the method outlined by Rick Jelliffe is preferable and will presumably be
invisible. I don't think an XML syntax that doesn't even fit properly with XML design goals is the answer.
Marcus Carr email: mrc at allette.com.au
Allette Systems (Australia) email: info at allette.com.au
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