Megginson and XMLNews

Walter Underwood wunder at
Thu Apr 8 01:50:46 BST 1999

At 01:32 PM 4/7/99 -0500, Robin Cover wrote:
>Congratulations to David Megginson for leadership and tangible
>results in the 'XMLNews' application.  This looks quite

Since the e-mail links at are "not yet active",
and real-world DTDs are generally interesting, I'll post comments
and questions here. An acceptable answer for most of these
would be "to be compatible with NITF", but it would be nice
to hear the rationale.

These are all about the xmlnews-story DTD. 

Why <lang> instead of an xml:lang attribute?

The ISO 8601 subset for <chron> is a different subset than
the web profile of ISO 8601 recomended by the W3C. Any chance
of changing to the W3C profile?

The <> element does not offer the date in a parseable
format. #PCDATA is fine for the printed version of the date, but
it also should be given in an ISO 8601 form (see above), and if
I get to choose, I'd rather see it as an element than as an

Why is <copyrite> misspelled? <hedline>, too?

Is there some reason why #FIXED wasn't used to make <a href="">
follow the Xlink draft? That is:

  xlink:form CDATA #FIXED "simple"

etc. Not necessary, of course, and XLink is a draft, and it 
introduces namspaces, ...

Since <phonetic/> doesn't contain the thing it is a pronunciation
of, should it always follow that thing? And should that be noted 
in the spec?

<bytag> is an unusual term for "author" or "creator", even for 
a profession that routinely uses "slug".

A <summary> would be nice, though it looks like I'll be able
to reliably extract the lead paragraph for single stories. Things
get trickier for news summaries, since the first <block> is a
summary of some other story, not of the current document.

<base> is an excellent thing to include in a DTD for web use.
XML docs tend to be missing random bits of necessary HTML 
functionality. <base> is a good convention for others to follow.
Now we need a convention for the robots meta tag ...

Overall, the DTD looks good, and with the exception of <>,
it will be trivial to map it into our search engine. The date issue
is important, though, because people do want to sort news by date.
In fact, that is almost the only kind of content that people do want
to sort by date.

Finally, I'd really appreciate a source of sample stories, so we can 
add this to our test suite.


Walter R. Underwood
wunder at
wunder at (home) (my product)

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