NOTATION/MIME (was Re: Recent XML WG decisions)

Peter Newcomb peter at
Mon Sep 15 21:15:34 BST 1997

> Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 11:05:12 -0400
> From: Chris Maden <crism at>
> I believe that XML authors are largely going to refer to images simply
> by URLs instead of entities; in that case, file system associations or
> HTTP headers can be used to ascertain the entity's type.  In cases
> where NDATA entities are used, I would recommend that XML implementors
> ignore the system identifier of the notation, and make their decision
> based on the entity itself.

I would caution against ignoring the declared notation for an entity,
since it may be used to specify an interpretation other than the
default interpretation that would be made by the system.

By associating notations with chunks of data, entity declarations
allow the same chunk of data to be viewed in different ways.  The
"classic" example of this is an XML document that is treated as XML in
some places and as plain text in others (possibly as an example in a
book about XML).

It is true that most near-term applications can probably ignore
declared notations, since the web community is already used to the
limitations involved.  This may change, however, as documents become
increasingly object-oriented, providing different views of themselves
for different audiences (as is done with SGML architectures).


Peter Newcomb                           TechnoTeacher, Inc.
peter at       peter at

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers
Archived as:
To unsubscribe, send to majordomo at the following message;
unsubscribe xml-dev
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list