Weak DTDs

Rick Jelliffe ricko at allette.com.au
Sun Oct 19 09:27:21 BST 1997

> From: Paul Prescod <papresco at technologist.com>

> Peter Murray-Rust wrote(?):
> > Yesterday evening I converted a typical chemical manuscript into CML
> > including RDF and DC metadata, images, spectra, molecules, bibliography,
> > XML-LINKs to several related XML and non-XML documents, and so on. I found
> > the freedom of NOT having a 'conventional' DTD was very liberating. I
> > believe that (with the latest JUMBO) it displays quite attractively and
> > meaningfully to human readers.
> Being without DTDs *is* very liberating for individuals. So is being
> without written laws. But I don't want to live in a community without
> laws.

Actually, I think it is different from that.  I think Peter is, to some
extent just using ad hoc combinations of DTD fragments.  The important
laws are written.

By the time you make the decision XML, XLL, CML, RDF with HTML element types
for general text, the DTD has almost written itself.  That it is not explicit
is not of so great interest, in that the fragments are explicitly defined
and available.  The absense of an explicit DTD for them suggests that there
are no additional constraints to be imposed on them, and that the fragments
can be compbined as freely as possible.

I think the future of XML DTD production will largely just be in this 
recombining existing DTD fragments ("element type sets" or "microdocument 
DTDs" or "little languages" or even "architectures") in various ad hoc 
ways. A cookbook or pattern approach.


Rick Jelliffe
The SGML Cookbook: Document Patterns for SGML and XML

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