SAX and delayed entity loading

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Dec 3 18:22:46 GMT 1998

W. Eliot Kimber scripsit:

> 2. Notations provide a richer degree of data type specification that is
> more flexible and more generally applicable than MIME types.  For example,
> how do you apply a MIME type to an element or attribute?

Well, with another attribute, I suppose, the same way you apply
a notation.

> Notations are one
> of the most underappreciated aspects of SGML.

I agree in general.  But perhaps the indirection that (as you say)
is so valuable in entities is really overkill in notations, given
the large effort built up in assigning MIME types absolute names.
> My personal opinion is that SGML has inappropriately conflated the element
> type declarations with the entity declarations. The former define the
> syntactic rules for the document, the latter define the storage
> organization of the document. These are two fundamentally different and
> unrelated things and should be completely syntactically separated.  It is
> unfortunate that they are not.

Hear, hear.  Which is one of the reasons why XSchema does not provide
support for text entities.  (Unparsed entities are supported
merely so that ENTITY/ENTITIES attributes can be validated.)

> So saying that entities and notations are non-starters is, I think, a bit
> strong.

IMHO there has been insufficient effort on the part of tribal
elders to explain what notations are meant to be for, and how
they are useful to XMLists.  Elements and attributes (disregarding
for the moment the perennial question when to use which) are well
understood thanks to the HTML experience, but notations are not.

John Cowan		cowan at
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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