Proposal Critique - XML DTDs to XML docs

Simon St.Laurent SimonStL at
Fri May 22 17:15:35 BST 1998

>If I understand this correctly, then you are saying that at first you
>allow no extensions, just as DTDs allow no extensions.

DTDs aren't allowed to change document syntax - the use of tags for elements 
and attributes, the use of '&' for general entities, etc.  The same rules 
apply in this representation, as I will state more explicitly.  This 
representation would, however, allow _additional_ rules - with data schemas 
the first issue to be addressed.  This really isn't that difficult.

>Is there any good reason that the ability to change the parse tree should
>be conflated with the responsibility for verifying schema-compliance as
>they are in DTDs. Is there any good reason to perpetuate this conflation
>in your proposed replacement for DTDs?

I'd like to see a structure that's:
a) easily interpreted, edited, and stored, without the need for multiple 
b) capable of containing a complete set of information about a document, 
including structure and data

What's so difficult about that?  I can't think of any good reason (besides 
SGML compatibility) to oppose either of those goals.  Why on earth would I 
want to keep multiple sets of document descriptions (schemas, whatever) around 
that share the task of defining the same document set?  It seems like a 
management mess, a processing mess, a waste of bandwidth and storage because 
of redundant information, and just generally a nuisance.

Making DTDs extensible is a good way, in my view, to address this issue, and 
several others.

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer / XML: A Primer / Cookies

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