Dreadfully tedious questions

Joshua E. Smith jesmith at kaon.com
Tue May 4 13:51:59 BST 1999

Thanks for the quick response!  Follow ups...

> > 0) What FAQ did I miss which answered these must-be-frequently-asked
> > quesions?!?!
>That one that you can write and distribute when you've finished
>collecting the answers (??).

Maybe I will...

> [blah blah blah]attributes[blah blah]elements[blah blah blah]

In looking for other stylistic examples to follow, I've notice some really
serious inconsistency in approach, particularly in the W3C's documents.  At
one extreme, you've got MathML with almost no attributes at all, and at the
other extreme, you've got SVG with almost no elements (and every attribute
has it's own exotic syntax).

I found a DTD prototype for VRML which was similar to SVG (everything in
the attributes, attributes require MORE PARSING by the application).

How do y'all react when you see attributes like this one from a VRML DTD:

<transform id="NameOfTransform" bboxcenter="0 0 0" bboxsize="4 4 4"
 translation="10 5 0"  rotation="0 0 0 1" scale="0.5 0.5 0.5"
 scaleOrientation="0 0 1 0"  center="0 0 0" >

Now, I suppose that's a lot leaner than breaking out all the 3D and 4D
vectors as elements (or their w,x,y,z parts as attributes), but isn't it a
bit squirrley to hide that much of the syntax inside strings?

> > 3) Is expat the best choice for embedding an XML parser in my plug-in (the
> > plug-in is written in C++, of course)?
>Expat's been well tested.  SP has been even better tested, and unlike
>Expat, it supports DTD validation; however, SP has a basically
>undocumented and extremely complicated interface, and it's really a
>full SGML parser.
>IBM has a brand-new parser, xml4c++ (I think), at alphaworks.ibm.com.
>This hasn't had the field testing that Expat and SP have had, but it
>looks promising.

xml4c++'s disclaimers ("this software sucks" is the general drift, sort of
like the mozilla disclaimers) are pretty scary.  Also, how big is the
redistributable DLL?  (I'm not going to sign their license unless there's a
chance it'll be small enough to be practical in a plug-in)

What's SP?  Does that have a different name, because I haven't seen it in
my web travels.

-Joshua Smith

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