Scripting and XML

David Megginson ak117 at
Sun Oct 19 21:23:08 BST 1997

Simon St.Laurent writes:

 > The word 'document' has received some heavy redefinition on the web
 > in the last year, with more changes coming every day.  'Live'
 > content is becoming more and more common - inside the HTML document
 > as well as in the process generating it.

This is a very good point; it is important to note, however, that in
XML, as in full SGML, a "document" does not necessarily consist of a
single file.  To my knowledge, no one has ever seriously tried to
include GIF or JPEG images inside an HTML file; we all accept that
they exist in separate files/entities, even though they form part of
the same document in the user's browser.  Why should non-XML
text-based data, like scripts, not be treated the same way as non-XML
binary data?

In compound documents, XML or full SGML provides two things:

1) a high-level schema to show how the compound document fits
   together (the entity structure); and

2) a method for presenting structural information (the element

It certainly makes sense to include scripts in compound documents, but
I cannot see the advantage of mixing them in with the XML markup
itself -- they are a lot cleaner and easier to maintain when they are
in a separate file.

By the way, thanks for the tip about using JavaScript in separate
files -- I will take the time to give it a proper look.

All the best,


David Megginson                 ak117 at
Microstar Software Ltd.         dmeggins at

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