XML trade off 1 - DTD vs XML Schema

Len Bullard cbullard at hiwaay.net
Sat Jul 17 01:37:46 BST 1999

Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> I'd say DTDs have at least another few years of active use in them.  I
> suspect (though it isn't certain) that while they're less powerful than
> schemas, they involve less processing as well.  For some situations, even
> 'non-legacy' ones, that may insure a very long life.

Since XML schemas and other parts of the standards start from an XML 
DTD, I suspect they will live a while.  OTOH:

1.  Use is driven in part by tools and in part by the functionality 
of tools (what do you need to do, what can you do that with).

2.  Use is driven by the availability of tools and ease of obtaining
(can i get them when I need them, can i afford to get them).

3.  Use is driven by what I know how to do or what I can learn in the 
time available (do i know i need to know, do i know where to go to find

A lot of the tools used in day to day industrial computer science are 
downloaded from www.microsoft.com.  No flames; just a fact for many of
As long as we need to use schemas for tasks such as loading a drop box, 
can do that with the functions provided in the object model, can get 
an implemented object model that does that for free, understand that 
we can do that using an XML schema easily but not so easily with an 
ISO 8879 DTD, and know that the tools and tutorials for doing that 
can be found at www.microsoft.com or wherever our local environment 
predisposes us to look, then I would say the odds of ISO 
8879 DTDs development remaining a vital art for practicing markup
are low.

Pity.  They are much easier to read.  Cool, OTOH, because I need the
functionality of the schemas.  Que sera.  Be attached to people; 
not technologies.


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