Are notations dead, or just pining for the fjords? (was Re: SAX and delayed entity loading)

david at david at
Fri Dec 4 03:44:17 GMT 1998

W. Eliot Kimber writes:

 > Of course, the use or non-use of entities and notations is a data
 > management choice that has to be made on a case-by-case
 > basis. There are certainly classes of document for which the
 > indirection of entities does not provide sufficient benefit to
 > justify the cost. But that isn't the case for all XML documents.
 > So saying that entities and notations are non-starters is, I think,
 > a bit strong.

Perhaps, but I'm speaking from a business perspective rather than a
technical one.  I have seen almost no use of notations and unparsed
entities in any type of XML application (other than demos by a few
old-guard SGML types like Eliot and me).  It seems that SGML's logical
structure has sold well to the XML world, but its physical structure
is gathering dust on the shelf (what if we renamed external entities
to "parser-side includes"?).

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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