The word "valid" in XML

james anderson mecom-gmbh at
Fri Jan 2 12:20:27 GMT 1998

did anyone consider  using "verifying" to describe the behaviour of a processor
which determines conformance to a dtd?
it more accurately describes a process which has the goal of proving or
ascertaining the status of a document, where the status includes "complying to
the constraints expressed in the respective dtd" (or "valid", if one wishes),
"not complying ..." (or "invalid", but it will be a source of confusion), and
"unverified" (where "unvalidated" leaves much to be desired). among its
advantages, the various negations are less likely to be misunderstood as
implying or connoting "incorrect XML".

the connotation has the advantage, that "verity" implies some "external reality"
against which the document's "validity" is "verified", whereas "validity" on its
own implies a judgement on principle, and thus leads to the confusion with
"invalid XML".

in any event, for this reader, that's an aspect of the proposal which i had to
sort out in order to figure out what it actually meant...

Sean Mc Grath wrote:

> It is probably way to late to do anything about it but the word
> "valid" bugs me in XML. Principally because of what happens when you
> invert it.
> A synonym for "valid" is "correct". But there is a big difference
> between "invalid XML" and "incorrect XML" due to the loading of the
> common word "valid".

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