Comments within DTDs

Chris Maden crism at
Thu Apr 9 17:48:35 BST 1998

[Steve Robertson]
> One thing missing from the syntax of ATTLIST declarations is support
> for comments. This would have provided helpful clues if updating old
> schemas at some time in the future.
> Has this been a case of simplicity being given preference over
> readiblity (!), Or is there an historical reason behind the lack of
> such provisions?

It's for simplicity, but I don't feel it affects readability.  The way
I comment XML DTDs is thus:

<!-- thiselement: a sample element -->
<!ELEMENT thiselement (contentmodel)>
<!-- id:       unique identifier for the element
     role:     one of
               good:  looks like Toshiro Mifune
               bad:   looks like Clint Eastwood
               ugly:  looks like Paula Jones
     whatever: I don't care; put something here -->
<!ATTLIST thiselement
          id       ID              #IMPLIED
          role     (good|bad|ugly) "good"
          whatever CDATA           #REQUIRED>

<!ENTITY crism PUBLIC "-//O'Reilly//NONSGML Christopher R. Maden//EN"
"<URL> <TEL>+1.617.499.7487
<USMAIL>90 Sherman Street, Cambridge, MA 02140 USA" NDATA SGML.Geek>

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