Feeling good about SML

Don Park donpark at docuverse.com
Fri Nov 19 13:45:31 GMT 1999

Mark Birbeck wrote:
>Anyway, I do think we should aim up not down; rather than trying to
>throw away stuff which is of fundamental significance, let's develop
>things that make those important techniques easier to take 
>advantage of.

It seems that everyone is already shooting up and we are seeing too
many standards raining down on us to even keep track of, let alone
read.  Fundamental significance is questionable IMHO.  I can't remember
the last time I used notations.

I fear that there are more hairy standards and pseudo standards coming
down the pike that depends on PI, notations, DTD, etc.  One example is
DT4DTD which uses notations heavily for datatype constraints.

Why not use elements and attributes instead of using legacy mechanisms
like PI, entities, notations, DTD, etc?  XML style sheet association,
for example, uses PI because "use of a processing instruction avoids
polluting the main document structure with application specific
processing information."   Same reasoning forced the XML Namespace spec
to use the 'xmlns' attribute because attributes are useful for
'out-of-band' information.  Without it, we could have just used an
element to declare namespaces.

The concept of 'sacred main document structure' is a legacy of the SGML
world.  IMHO, it is a bad concept that encourages convoluted workaround
solutions.  SML will encourage people to break from the concept by
taking away the cumbersome alternatives.


Don Park    -   mailto:donpark at docuverse.com
Docuverse   -   http://www.docuverse.com

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