Some answers to my questions...

Joshua E. Smith jesmith at
Thu May 6 22:11:18 BST 1999

FYI (stuff for that FAQ I'll never get around to writing):

1) It's trivial to link expat statically in a Windows environment.  Just do
the obvious and it just works.  (James Clark is clearly a programmer who
knows what he's doing.)  Also, expat *can* read external general entities,
you just have to help it a little.

2) There *are* already XML editors which look at the DTD and do very smart
things.  More than validating, they *prompt* you for stuff.  The xeena
editor at alphaworks (mentioned by someone earlier) is a bit slow (read: UI
in Java) but very clever.  On a really fast machine (faster than my P266
laptop), it'd be a terrific tool.

3) Looks like it's OK to trust an editor not to dump all your default
values out into output files, so it's OK to put your default values in the
DTD.  Xeena does the right thing with them, so I presume others will follow

4) Again, just judging from Xeena, I'm going to have to find a way to make
my XML-Conformant programming lanugage valid, as well as well-formed.  As I
feared, it's hard for a validating editor to deal with invalid stuff.  And
xeena deals with valid stuff in very cool ways.

Question still pending: Why should I use an external unparsed entity for
URL attributes, when CDATA seems to be just fine?

Oh, and a small amusement for you...


(defun factorial (x)
  (if (= x 1)
      (* x (- x 1))))


<defun name="factorial">
  <args><var name="x"/></args>
    <if> <eq><var name="x"/><integer value="1"/></eq>
         <integer value="1"/>
           <var name="x"/>
           <minus><var name="x"/><integer value="1"/></minus>

The latter is a little more bloated in emacs, but it looks really nice in
an XML editor.  Q.E.D. ;)

-Joshua Smith

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