Appending to an XML document

Ingo Macherius macherius at
Fri Dec 10 16:26:55 GMT 1999


using entities of any kind does not change the underlying data model. 
It's syntactic shugar, nothing more. The root of the problem (and a 
great help in other cases) is indeed the fact that any XML 1.0 
document must have a single root.

There are several fields where this is assumend a problem, just think 
e.g. of the return values of XPath or XQL expression, which rarely 
are single-rooted. Think how often you have heared the term "virtual 
root node" recently. Think of Murata's "forest automata". Forest, not 
tree. Guess why.

However, plainly dropping the tree structure of XML is too hasty. The 
main problem here is the fact that there is not much between a tree 
and a general DAG (graph). Oodles of folks are in search for a 
convenient data model just in the middle of tree and graph. This 
would help to truly merge hyperlinks, RDF and XML. Check

Thus: entities are truely no soulution. However, so far nobody 
succeded in suggesting a "true" non-tree data model for XML.


uche.ogbuji at <uche.ogbuji at> wrote at 10 Dec 99, 8:41:

> > The decision to make an XML document contain just a single element is the
> > root of the problem.
> While this may be the root of other problems, and I do not claim to vouch for 
> all such problems, it is _not_ the root of the particular problem in question. 
>  I see no reason why the log file must be a well-formed XML document.  Can you 

Ingo Macherius//Dolivostrasse 15//D-64293 Darmstadt//+49-6151-869-882
GMD-IPSI German National Research Center for Information Technology
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