Prototype OO was Re: Inheritance/defaulting of attributes

Marcus Carr mrc at
Thu Oct 16 01:44:08 BST 1997

Liam Quin wrote:

> Document definitions are much easier to manipulate when represented as SGML/XML
> instances (I claim), because then you can use general purpose tools (like
> Sculptor, Balise, Omnimark, etc).  Then generate "old-style" DTDs when
> you need them, along with documentation, and no more doing things like this:

If you have a licence of OmniMark you will find a number of sample programs that
allow you to convert a fully featured DTD (including shortrefs etc) to an SGML
document. Why not convert in that direction, when all you're looking for is a
different view of the DTD? (If you dont have OmniMark, download the free version,
OmniMark LE and send me mail.)

> This is much more amenable to OO tools and methodologies. If you use an idref
> instead of the parameter entity:
>       <content>
>         (<usePE name="lowLevelText"/>)*
>       </content>
> you can write a DSSSL script to expand it, but you could also imagine doing
> automated reasoning based on what "lowLevelText" contains to produce
> uses-a/has-a diagrams, for example.
> A system written to do this sort of thing could, as you suggest, also export
> information in other formats, such as a database schema for an OO database, an
> RTF template (if you add style information, or with DSSSL) and so forth.

We do this sort of thing at the moment - we use a modified version of the sample
OmniMark program to convert to SGML and then produce HTML for our programmers and
markup teams. If you want some other rendition of the structure, then you should
generate it - I still haven't seen a compelling reason for a full syntax


Marcus Carr                  email:  mrc at
Allette Systems (Australia)  email:  info at
Level 10, 91 York Street     www:
Sydney 2000 NSW Australia    phone:  +61 2 9262 4777
                             fax:    +61 2 9262 4774

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