DTD: Extra Complexity?

Paul Prescod paul at prescod.net
Sun Feb 7 17:38:28 GMT 1999

"Steven R. Newcomb" wrote:
> Given that XML is supposed to be used on the Web, DTDs are certainly
> essential to XML's widespread success in enhancing opportunities for
> open information interchange in a multivendor context.
> On the other hand, open DTDs are not good news for the ultra-dominant
> software vendors.  

I noticed something ominous in one of the Office 2000 products. It was
generating a schema on the fly for the data it was sending. "We know this
data conforms to this standard because we invented the standard to fit the

If the person on the other end can't see the schema *in advance* then they
can't code software that works with the data. That's pretty much as bad as
not having a schema at all.

I don't want to say that generating a schema on the fly is ALWAYS bad. The
point should be that you should specify as much as you can in a static
schema, (or other formal specification). "Inline extensions" should be a
last resort and should be explicitly catered for in the static schema.
 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

"Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did,
but she did it backwards and in high heels."
                                               --Faith Whittlesey

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