Proposed process for DTDs in XML

Tim Bray tbray at
Sun May 24 13:31:25 BST 1998

I've certainly enjoyed reading the discussion following from Simon's

1. The history of science and technology tends to move forward in a 
series of it-seems-inevitable-at-the-time steps.  Now it's the time 
to build railways, now to invent airplanes, now to develop object-
oriented languages, etc. etc. etc.  It's pretty obvious that *now* is
the time to work on the next generation of document schemas.

2. Everyone likes what DTDs do.  Everyone wants some more things.  Not
everyone wants the same things.

3. Everyone does seem to want data typing and the use of XML syntax.
(Uh, BTW, I had always assumed that if we went with XML instance syntax,
parameter entities would go away (hooray))

4. It is very likely indeed that some W3C body, most likely the XML WG,
will take up this set of issues in the near future, so now is the right
time to get your ideas on the table.  Naturally, ideas accompanied by
working implementations are taken more seriously.  Similarly, small
simple proposals are strongly preferable to large complex ones.

5. Currently the only submission *officially* on the table is
XML-Data.  Everyone I talk to agrees that XML-Data contains some
good ideas but altogether too much stuff.

6. Issues that have to be resolved include:
 - Do we include *everything* in XML DTD's, e.g. including "obscure"
   attribute types?
 - What additional facilities beyond those of DTDs, exactly, do we put 
   in V1.0 of the new schema mechanism?
 - What is the relationship with RDF?  Two obvious options are 
   - ignore it completely, as XML-Data does, and 
   - be RDF-conformant
   Is an intermediate position wrt RDF possible or interesting?
 - How do we associate the new schemas with document instances?

Interesting times... -Tim

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