Inheritance in XML [^*]

Tim Bray tbray at
Thu Apr 23 16:45:04 BST 1998

At 03:51 PM 4/23/98 +0200, james anderson wrote:
>the recommendation does, in deed, assert a semantic for xml documents.
>the xml recommendation defines a two relations among elements (subsumption and
>precedence), defines a (yes) language for describing these relations (the dtd
>entities), asserts three states for documents (valid, invalid, and
>unspecified), and specifies how to infer which state a document is in based
>its content.
>this is a "semantic"....

Reasonable people may disagree.  I believe that sequence and 
containment are purely syntactic in nature and imply no semantic
whatsoever.  Similarly I see no "semantic" in asserting that my butt
is currently placed on top of a chair, or that this chair is currently
placed in front of my computer.

>it is disheartening to read where attention is deflected from the issue by
>claiming that no semantic was intended. 

Get real.  You may choose to argue that containment and sequence 
constitute, in some philosophical framework, "semantics", but the claim
that no semantic was *intended* is unchallengeable because in point of
fact when we wrote the spec we considered that what we were describing
was syntax. -Tim

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