Foreign object inclusion WAS: Namespaces, Architectural Forms, and Sub-Documents

Marcus Carr mrc at
Thu Feb 5 21:24:15 GMT 1998

David Megginson wrote:

> You are quite right that this is legal XML or SGML -- that's one valid use of
> NOTATION attributes. Here's this paragraph UUENCODED:
> <object notation="uuencoded">
> begin 644 para
> M66]U(&%R92!Q=6ET92!R:6=H="!T:&%T('1H:7,@:7,@;&5G86P at 6$U,(&]R
> M(%-'34P at +2T@=&AA="=S(&]N92!V86QI9`IU<V4@;V8 at 3D]4051)3TX at 871T
> J<FEB=71E<RX at 2&5R92=S('1H:7,@<&%R86=R87!H(%5514Y#3T1%1#H*
> `
> end
> </object>

The real problem with included fragments (as I see it) is the fact that you need
to understand the impact of the embedded fragment on structure. An SGML parser
would try to fire the elements <V4>, <FEB> and <RX> and expand the entity &AA in
the above. Even if the element were declared as CDATA, the sequence "</ " [any
name character] would delimit the <object> element.

> In other words, inlining uuencoded objects is a kludge...

Unless you plan to write an application to confirm that your embedded fragments
aren't detrimental to your structure, I would advise against this. Even if the
fragment wasn't detrimental to your structure, it may be to someone who wants to
reuse a chunk of your data, adding a dangerous level of uncertainty to your


Marcus Carr                  email:  mrc at
Allette Systems (Australia)  email:  info at
Level 10, 91 York Street     www:
Sydney 2000 NSW Australia    phone:  +61 2 9262 4777
                             fax:    +61 2 9262 4774

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