Using notations to identify content formats

John Cowan cowan at
Tue Apr 13 22:44:04 BST 1999

Peter Saint-Andre wrote:

> Unfortunately,
> there seems to be a paucity of information regarding how to create
> formal specs for the documentation of notations in XML. Any suggestions
> would be greatly appreciated.

IMHO, natural-language (English, French, or whatever) descriptions
are generally preferred to formal ones, as they are intelligible
to more people and generally "live" longer.

A document that says 

	The MagicDate format is as follows:
	yyyywwd, where yyyy is a zero-padded Gregorian year number,
	ww is a 2-digit week, and d is the day of the week.
	Week 01 of a year is the week containing January 4.
	Day 0 is Sunday, day 6 is Saturday.

does very nicely.  Then you make it retrievable at
http://your.domain/defs/MagicDate.txt and
then declare the notation in your DTDs as

	<!NOTATION MagicDate SYSTEM "http://your.domain/defs/MagicDate.txt">

John Cowan		cowan at
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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