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

Borden, Jonathan jborden at
Tue Feb 23 04:57:43 GMT 1999

James Tauber wrote:
> Jonathan argued by assertion that document fragments are well-formed
> documents.
> What if they are not?
> If the original big document (no I'm not introducing a new term
> :-)) is in a
> character encoding other than UTF-8 or UTF-16, the document fragment
> achieved by plucking out a particular element is not a legal XML document.
> It would need to have a prolog to specify the encoding or some
> other method
> to declare the same.

	You are correct. not all document fragments are well-formed documents. The
point I am trying :-) to make is that the need to consider information
streams as infinitely long 'documents' composed of 'document fragments'
which contain units of information (e.g. the stock ticker) is just an
artifact of protocols which demand that a stream contain a single document.

	Assuming, then, that one could apply prologs to a stream which is composed
of multiple document fragments, it might be possible to transmit the same
information via a stream of document fragments as via a stream of documents.
I don't currently see a need to propose an infinitely long XML document as
the solution to a problem. (that is I can solve this problem at the protocol

Jonathan Borden

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