Simple DOM question

Warren Hedley w.hedley at
Thu Aug 19 02:05:16 BST 1999

Eric Bohlman wrote:
> Such a common problem that the solution to it is built into the definition
> of XML itself (and XML inherited it from SGML).  Just declare the child
> document as an entity in your internal DTD subset (<!ENTITY childElement
> SYSTEM "childElement.xml">) and then reference it as %childElement;
> instead of creating a special element type to represent inclusion.  That
> way the parser will transparently perform the inclusion rather than
> requiring the application logic to do it.
> I've noticed in recent days a tendency for people to propose using XLink
> or application-specific linking mechanisms to accomplish tasks that could
> just as well be handled by the entity mechanism.  Let's not forget our
> roots.

You're right of course. I'm aware of this way of doing things. My example
was probably a bit too simplistic. Say for example that we had some other
information about the childElement declared within the parent:

  <link-childElement name="bob" href="childElement.xml" type="foobar">
    <description>Some Info</description>

and I wanted the specified <description> and @type attributes to over-ride
the corresponding fields in "childElement.xml". As far as I know, this kind
of behaviour is not supported in basic XML, but my application has to take
of this itself.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

Warren Hedley
Department of Engineering Science
Auckland University
New Zealand

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