External Entities A Field Guide (was RE: Feeler for SML (Simple Markup Language))

Leigh Dodds ldodds at ingenta.com
Tue Nov 16 10:47:25 GMT 1999

> but I would like to have a summary of WHEN and WHEN NOT to use
> external entities.
> I sum up some points I have understood so far :
> * DO NOT use external entities when working with remote XML document
> since it would badly increase downloading time.
> * DO use them only when you can rely on the parser's behaviour, i.e.
> you know exactly how the parser will behave with these entities.
> Any comments on this ?

Heres some others, gleaned from the discussions:

"The *ONLY TIME* external parsed entities are the right thing to do is
when exactly one actor is working on exactly one doucment and needs to
partition it into separate files for *their own* convenience. *AT ALL
OTHER TIMES* external parsed entities are not the right thing to use."

Use them to separate the logical and physical document structure
(first paragraph)

Never rely on data being stored in a specific entity
(above link, last paragraph, see also 

I'm sure there are other wise words to be added as well!



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