Parser compliance

Richard Lanyon rgl at
Thu Nov 18 10:44:48 GMT 1999

On Wed, 17 Nov 1999, Steven R. Newcomb wrote:

> 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.

It seems to me that the problem lies in what exactly DTDs are used /for/.
Basically, DTDs are used for checking the structure of a document. While
this is doubtless important, it seems to me to be curious that what is
essentially an error-checking mechanism is the first thing that many
people learn about XML. This in turn is because the important bit of XML
 - viz designing hierarchical structures - becomes conflated in many
people's minds with the syntax you use to error-check your structures.
This is particularly worrying because in many cases the error-handling
will be best dealt with by something familiar with the /semantics/ of the
structure (i.e. a specific XML application) rather than by an XML parser.

Richard Lanyon (Software Engineer) |     "The medium is the message"
XML Script development,            |             - Marshall McLuhan
DecisionSoft Ltd.                  |

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