Parser compliance

Steven R. Newcomb srn at
Thu Nov 18 01:37:11 GMT 1999

[Tim Bray:]
> I have often wondered where this myth arose that validating against
> a DTD will tell you, in useful real-world terms, "what's wrong with
> your XML".

I have often wondered where this myth arose that DTDs are somewhere
between evil and useless.  It's baffling that this myth arises when
there's nothing better than, or even as good as DTDs.  Meanwhile,
perhaps because of this myth, several serious W3C efforts appear to be
taking giant steps backward from providing even the usefulness that
DTDs do in fact provide.  I have no adequate explanation for this.
I'm putting it down to some new electronic form of mass engineering
hysteria, in which rumors, perhaps based on casual and unguarded
remarks of experts, shape public opinion in unintended ways that work
against the public interest.


Steven R. Newcomb, President, TechnoTeacher, Inc.
srn at

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