XML processing instruction survey

Tyler Baker tyler at infinet.com
Sat Dec 4 05:06:03 GMT 1999

Tim Bray wrote:

> At 03:07 PM 11/30/99 -0800, Jeffrey E. Sussna wrote:
> >I'm interested in the extent to which people are actually using the XML
> >processing instruction ( <?xml ) in their XML files, and the extent to which
> >they find it useful.
> It's not really designed for people.  It's mostly designed for use
> by the XML processor to help figure out the encoding and make sure that
> this is really XML.
> I'd think that using it at the application level would be not only
> uncommon but probably unwise.  I'd be interested to hear any positive
> responses to the query. -T.

I use processing instructions for the class name (Java specific here) of the application
object that is used to handle a particular document type. In this sense the PI acts as a
stream header. The PI in a sense is not document content but is only used as an identifier as
to what module should be dynamically loaded to handle the document data.

I like to think of PI's as things which are useful for commanding your particular application
as to what it should do with the data and not something inherent within the document itself.


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