external parsed entites (was: A unique ID question ?)

Martin Bryan mtbryan at sgml.u-net.com
Mon Nov 15 10:14:07 GMT 1999

Ken Holman wrote:

>I, for one, hope external parsed entities *do not* go away.

>I need them when I need to handle *one* XML file in *many* small manageable
pieces ... I don't need them for re-use or for sharing, but they provide a
useful convenience.

The key reason for needing external parsed entities is "manageability".
Large documents are not written as monoliths. They are written and reviewed
in sections, with different teams often being used to create and comment on
different sections. If the document needs to be translated this often needs
to be done in sections as well, rather than waiting for the completion of
the last page of the document before you can start translation. The fact
that sections of the final document need to be able to cross refer to each
other requires the use of a global ID scheme, but this is easy to do with
appropriate management of the names that are used to create IDs. Here
namespaces can be of assistance.

Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. Until we have a decent
subdocument/embedded link mechanism that has been taken up by a wide range
of tools we *need* to retain external parsed entities in XML

Martin Bryan

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