Notations (was SAX and delayed entity loading)

Joel Bender joel at
Fri Dec 4 20:20:55 GMT 1998

John Cowan wrote:

>  Notations that govern elements through the use of a NOTATION
>  attribute are a powerful feature for describing the syntax
>  of what's in the element, as is shown by the repeated attempts
>  to reinvent them in various schema proposals.

So my brain spew about regexp patterns and a DTD for them could somehow be
bound to particular element contents or an attribute value?

If they are being repeatedly re-invented in schema proposals, then folks
don't have enough information and they are filling in their own blanks as
best they can.  Myself included.

In <> it is written:

>  They may additionally resolve the external identifier into the
>  system identifier, file name, or other information needed to
>  allow the application to call a processor for data in the notation
>  described.

Do you have an example of a SYSTEM or PUBLIC id, with the coorisponding
description, I can look at?  I haven't found any XML examples that use
<!NOTATION>, so I don't have any way to know how well it fits (or doesn't).

W. Eliot Kimber wrote:

>  But it's not just about *viewing*, it's about processing of all
>  sorts.

I hate to be a pill, but could you nail this down a little more?  In light
of the discussion of what does or does not belong in the application and
parser, is there some specific kind of processing that the designers
intended for <!NOTATION>?

Simon St.Laurent wrote:

> >> How would I apply a MIME type to an attribute?  More important,
> >> why one earth would I want to?  Seems like some pretty heavy
> >> overkill.
> >
> >To say what the internal syntax of the attribute value is.
> >
> Er, yes, that's overkill, like I said.  Nuclear weapons to kill
> gnats and all that.

I don't think its overkill, all I want is a nice formal mechanism for
saying my WIDTH attribute of my BOX element is an integer.  If a schema can
do that, cool.  If a notation can refer to a schema and support mime types
along with it, fine.  Whatever mechanism should be able to support patterns
like those that appear in the XML 1.0 spec, which is not complicated.  If
there are rules that allow the translation of correctly matching content to
atomic data in the DOM, even better.  In my mind, MIME types can do this
for some types of data but doesn't have simple atomic types defined, i.e.,


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