document vs non-document entity (was Re: CORBA's not boring yet. / XML in an OS?)

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at
Sun Feb 7 13:39:05 GMT 1999

At 06:38 PM 2/7/99 +0800, James Tauber wrote:
>One (serious) issue that imediately arises out of my XML überdocument system
>is that there is a difference in XML between the document entity and other
>entities: the existence of the prolog.
>If an XML document has a empty prolog, there is no problem because an XML
>document entity with an empty prolog is a legal external parsed entity.
>However, the moment you have an XML declaration or document type
>declaration, the entity can no longer act as an external parsed entity.

I like the uberdocument OS concept very much (as those who suspect my
XML-everywhere sympathies probably guessed.)  The doctype declaration issue
is a significant problem for a single-document model.  I think there may be
two ways out, however:

1) Hope that the schema spec uses some other mechanism to connect to
documents (and document fragments) that isn't as disruptive.

2) Use a master document that has connections to other documents, using
XLink to manage relationships within the set of documents.  This way you
can have all the prologs and DTDs you like, though you'd need another level
of organization.

Hmmm... fun idea!  I've been thinking a lot about XML as resource files,
which is where the thoughts above came from, but you've gone a few orders
of magnitude past that.

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer / Building XML Applications (March)
Sharing Bandwidth / Cookies

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as: and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list