AFs and the DPH

Rick Jelliffe ricko at
Thu Oct 2 18:34:56 BST 1997

> From: W. Eliot Kimber <eliot at>
> This is why I think architectures are key to
> the success of XML: it lets you eat the cake of DTD-less documents and
> still have it (because the architecture processing gives you all the
> validation and processing you need, but only when you want it and not
> when you don't).

This seems a very good and important point.

If the problem is how to represent occassional structures in well-formed
documents, then AFs represent an external form, XML-data represents an
inline form, and ISO 8879 declarations represent a header form. 

But, I think that a document with AFs cannot be regarded as being 
declaration-less, since either the declarations have to be implicitly
built into the application, or be explicit in the form of a DTD outside.

The horrible thing is that, of course, there is no reason why an
XML-data schema could not itself be a meta-DTD!   I think the 
issue of direct modelling (SGML templates or XML-data) versus
indirect modelling (AFs) should be distinguished from the issue
of the goodness of ISO 8879 declaration syntax versus XML-data
non-standard syntax.    AFs, as a mechanism, are syntax-neutral
to a great extent.

Rick Jelliffe

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