The XML spec in XML: missing tags

Eve L. Maler elm at
Wed Feb 25 15:51:03 GMT 1998

Oh, you want *documentation*, do you??  Well, the DTD was hard to write; it
should be hard to understand. :-)

Seriously, I keep saying that I'll release the reference documentation Real
Soon Now, and in fact I'm hoping to be able to spend a few hours tidying it
up and releasing it later this week.  (There's also a minor DTD update in
the pipe.)

At 03:32 AM 2/25/98 -0500, Peter Murray-Rust wrote:
>My interest is similar - but complementary - to Michael's; I am interested
>in the terminology. Thus I want to be able to abstract the terms [there are
>62 termdefs] in the document and produce a model for their structure (e.g.
>entailment by containment, by linking and so on.) In this way I can create
>a graphical interactive map of the concepts in the XML spec and have
>already created a prototype. I would like to know, for example, whether all
>terms are defined by <termdef> or whether there are some which are simply
>defined by <term>foo bar</term>. There appears to be some duplication here
>as well; thus a termdef has an attribute naming the term, but it is also
>often contained within a <term> later in the 'description'.  [And there is
>at least one case where </termdef> occurs in mid-sentence - I suspect this
>isn't intended.]

<termdef> is a really odd way to do term definitions, for my money, but
that's what the users wanted. :-)  It captures an "inline" definition of a
term, and because of the mixed content model, it can't even ensure that a
<term> is present to identify the actual term being defined.  Likewise, it
can't ensure that the definition captured functions as a "standalone"
sentence or set of sentences.  I suspect that the cut-off sentence was more
in the spirit of poetic license.

<term> is occasionally used legitimately without a <termdef> wrapper; it's
marking a term being used in a special way, without an accompanying

Gee, maybe I should just collect all the questions and do the documentation
as a Q&A...


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