Packaging and related-resource discovery

Steven R. Newcomb srn at
Tue Sep 28 22:09:29 BST 1999

[Tim Bray:]

> I (and I think some other people) are becoming increasingly
> convinced that the need for some sort of an "XML Packaging" facility
> is becoming increasingly urgent.  I was asked to write up a
> motivating statement for the XML Plenary meeting that is happening
> this Wednesday.  I thought that the xml-deviants might also find it
> of interest.

> It's at -Tim

Thanks for sharing this good requirements list, Tim.

You might want to consider the HyTime solution to this problem:
"bounded object sets" that are declarable in XML when using the HyTime
architecture.  One cool thing about HyTime bounded object sets is that
they provide for aggregating bounded object sets, so that the
specifications of bounded object sets don't have to be duplicated when
an entire bounded object set (BOS, pronounced "boss") is identified as
forming part of another BOS.  BOSs are optionally and controllably

Another cool thing about BOSs is that you don't have to invent
anything for XML to use them.  Of course, to get the full benefit of
the BOS paradigm, it would be enormously helpful if XML had data
attributes.  (Personally, I still think XML should have data
attributes for tons of other reasons, too.)

Although you mention them explicitly in your writeup, I don't yet see
what XML Namespaces have to do with this.  Entity declarations are
sufficient to indicate external related resources.  XML Namespaces are
dependent on Web addresses (URIs), thus making them non-"network
agnostic", while entity declarations are applicable in any system
context.  (Did I get that right?)

Interested people may want to check the sections of the ISO HyTime
standard that are relevant to this discussion:


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

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