XML complexity, namespaces (was WG)
david at megginson.com
Tue Mar 23 11:34:41 GMT 1999
Rick Jelliffe writes:
> From: David Megginson <david at megginson.com
> >In SGML, you have to write a special program to act on the information
> >in the data attributes (nothing does this out of the box); in XML, you
> >have to write a special program to act on the PUA.
> Huh? OmniMark allows access to data attributes just as easily as element
> attributes (http://www.omnimark.com/develop/om40/doc/concept/646.htm),
Yes, so does SP. But (with the exception you note below) you still
have to write an Omnimark or Perl or C++ program to act on the
information in the data attributes.
> out of the box. Several CALS-aware tools understand the notations used
> in data attributes, e.g., when used for graphics.
I agree that there are some tools already written that understand
specific data attributes in specific cases, but the general case, you
still have to write a specialised program (using Omnimark, Perl, or
whatever) to do something useful with the data attributes, just as you
have to write a specialised program (using Java, Perl, or whatever) to
do something useful with PUA characters in XML.
> And I dont agree that elements and characters and attributes and
> entities should be thought of as interconvertable: search routines
> look for character codes--I don't know of any search routines which
> allow grepping on data and elements.
Perhaps I misunderstood -- I thought that you were talking about the
problem of including specialised, non-canonical characters in
attribute values (say, to represent three variant 'd' graphemes in a
10th-century English manuscript or a customised Han character). I
think that PUA characters provide a good solution for that problem --
the only difficulty is that all of the knowledge about those
characters has to be encoded in the processing software using a lookup
table, while the SGML data-attribute solution is slightly more modular
since you can pass on extra generic information.
All the best,
David Megginson david at megginson.com
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