Parameter Entity Reference Considered Harmful

Trevor Jenkins tfj at
Thu Sep 4 17:54:06 BST 1997

> In making one more pass through the official grammar for XML, before 
> I despatch my alternative version to the 5 people who've requested 
> copies, I spotted a real dumb error in the doctype declaration.

Since posting this I did something even more useful. :-) I went back 
to ISO 8879 in which, of course, the use of paremeter entity 
references is allowed in both the "internal" and "external" subsets.

As a programmer I reckon that the different handling of parameter 
entities between the internal and external subsets makes things MORE 
complicated rather than simpler.

I knew there was something wrong with the avowed claim that XML was a
subset of SGML. If they're to be allowed (and they are allowed in
some odd places in XML) then let them occur wherever SGML lets them

Regards, Trevor.


"Real Men don't Read Instruction Manuals"
   Tim Allen, Home Improvement

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