Namespaces, Architectural Forms, and Sub-Documents

David Megginson ak117 at
Thu Feb 5 02:32:56 GMT 1998

Paul Prescod writes:

 > Not so. Word does not use externally embedded data by default. If
 > you create a table, formula or a graphic, it is inlined by default.
 > Typically you only externally link to a file if it already exists
 > (e.g.  it has some meaning independent of this document). I think
 > Microsoft made the right choice there.

Here, perhaps, there is some miscommunication between us.  As I
understand it (and I am by no means a Microsoft guru, or even a
regular user, so please read this with appropriate caution), all Word
documents are actually OLE compound objects -- in other words, they
consist of (possibly many) separate objects stored in the same
physical disk file; a simpler example of the same thing is Java's JAR

For XML to work on the desktop rather than just on the server, it will
also need some kind of packaging standard -- a way for all of the
entities (XML and non-XML) that make up a document to be edited,
stored, and shipped together, but easily broken apart again when
necessary.  I'm suggesting that once such a standard exists, and once
there are tools to use it, including subdocuments in XML will be as
easy as (and hopefully, much less buggy than) including Excel
spreadsheets in Word documents.

 > Let me put it this way: do you feel that the creators of DocBook,
 > TEI and HTML were mistaken by including table models rather than
 > forcing their users to use subdocs?

Of course not.  Different DTDs will include different levels of base
markup, depending on their areas of application -- we're dealing only
with the case when people want to use structures not defined in the
DTD itself.

All the best,


David Megginson                 ak117 at
Microstar Software Ltd.         dmeggins at

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