peterj at wrox.com
Fri Sep 11 10:17:28 BST 1998
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Murray Altheim [SMTP:altheim at mehitabel.eng.Sun.COM]
> Sent: Thursday, September 10, 1998 7:00 PM
> To: Peter Jones; xml-dev at ic.ac.uk
> Subject: Re: namespaces discussion
> Peter Jones <peterj at wrox.com> writes:
> > What do you mean by compounding DTDs? I don't know whether any of my
> > postings to the list have been getting through, ...but why can't the
> > notion of a DTD be an utterly nebulous concept in the abstract,
> > themselves having a namespace URIs which addresses a DTD entity for
> > particular element. Different elements validated against different
> > declarations lying in dispersed DTD entities.
> > Why isn't this idea getting through to anyone? (am v. frustrated!)
> Well, maybe nobody understands you, or maybe it's not an idea with
> fluency. I do DTD work for a living, and spreading one's declarations
> amongst multiple entities doesn't solve anything except spreading
> declarations amongst multiple entities. Some people call it
[Peter Jones] The idea I'm driving at is that DTDs should not
be tied down to namespace prefixes, and should be maximally re-useable.
The namespace prefix should be used only as a shorthand within the
document. THe URI of the namespace can (for user option) be made to have
significance (beyond avoiding name collisions) by denoting the address
of a document entity where declarations lie. Validation would then be
against a declaration which only concerns the name part of the qualified
DTD entity contains:
<!ELEMENT number (content1 | content2| content3) >
(ignoring the fact that I can't remember the exact syntax)
Where the URI refers to the file containing the declaration
above, and validation takes place only on the name "number" NOT the
qualified name "foo:number".
You can then have old style DTDs or compound docs or whatever.
> It doesn't address the real issues the arise when one is attempting to
> create a 'compound' document type from multiple sources. The namespace
> draft solves only one problem (name collisions), but it introduces a
> few other (what are IMO profound) problems.
> As for nebulosity, we don't need nebulosity, we need a DTD with both
> its feet on solid ground.
> Murray Altheim, SGML Grease Monkey
> Member of Technical Staff, Tools Development & Support
> Sun Microsystems, 901 San Antonio Rd., UMPK17-102, Palo Alto, CA
> Ernst Martin comments in 1949, "A certain degree of noise in
> writing is required for confidence. Without such noise, the
> writer would not know whether the type was actually printing
> or not, so he would lose control."
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