What is a document?

Mark Birbeck Mark.Birbeck at iedigital.net
Mon Nov 22 21:39:26 GMT 1999

Didier PH Martin wrote:
> Didier reply:
> Yes mark, if we got the notion of scope for rendition it 
> would be a lot
> easier to assemble fragment/documents into a whole. Obviously, each
> assembled part would have to take into account that it is 
> included in a
> whole for rendition (i.e like an HTML+CSS document for 
> example).

I wouldn't impose such a limitation myself. Why should the fragment
'know' anything about its container? (If I understand you correctly -
and apologies if I don't.) Provided it has its namespace declaration
then it can in theory exist in any container that will have it.

In fact, with RDF you could just wrap some XML in a CDATA tag and bung
it in a description. Or you can place it in a BizTalk 'envelope', or you
can use MIME, or even package it up with headers and send it through
HTTP/WebDAV. Each of these has different notions of validity. RDF or
BizTalk (or XML Fragment Interchange) require that the containing
document is well-formed XML with its contained object(s). But a
PROPPATCH in WebDAV requires that the containing document is well-formed
HTTP (plus a bit), and the document describing the elements being
patched are well-formed XML. So we have different notions of
'correctness' with different transports.

So, we have the notion of a document that we need to transport, and it
has its own requirements as to well-formedness, validity, etc. And then
we have the transport mechanism which has its own means of communicating
errors, etc.. And in some situations XML will be used as the transport
mechanism - as with BizTalk - but I don't think it should logically be
treated any different to other transport mechanisms. (Of course it's
handy to have it as XML because we can use all our other tools to handle



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