Streams, protocols, documents and fragments was: RE: Document s and Document Fragments (Was RE: XML Information Set Requirements, W3C N ote 18-February-1999)

Mark Birbeck Mark.Birbeck at
Mon Feb 22 03:55:07 GMT 1999

Jonathan Borden wrote:
[after using stock ticker example]
> So, the problem here is not one with XML, rather the protocol used to
> transmit documents, HTTP and SMTP send one MIME message per 
> PDU, streaming
> protocols can be defined which transmit multiple documents.

Succinctly put.

Less sure later on though. I'm OK here:
> <term>document</term> is defined as in the XML spec. 
> documents are well
> formed.

Yes. Important to stress because it makes the 'never-closing stream' a

> when a document fragment is isolated from its parent 
> document, it
> becomes a standalone document.
> a document may contain a prolog. a document fragment may not. 
> a document may
> contain a !DOCTYPE definition (DTD), a document fragment may 
> not. Hence all
> document fragments are legal documents but not all documents are legal
> document fragments.

The term 'document fragment' is not in XML 1.0, and my point was that we
don't need new terminology - uberdocuments, document fragments, and so
on - to understand these concepts. All you have said is that an XML
document can have a prolog ... or not. If you give me a well-formed 'XML
document' I have no way of knowing where that came from. It could be a
standalone text file, or it could be a node from a larger XML document,
but where it came from isn't going to help it; it will stand or fall on
its own merit - i.e., is it well-formed? So why confuse things with all
these different notions?



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