XML Information Set is seeding impenetrable language; reconsider?
klarlund at research.att.com
Wed Jan 19 21:20:05 GMT 2000
> "Write more clearly" is easy to say, but a vague point for debate, and no
> one would argue against it.
I did not say that the writing was not clear; in fact, I said the
opposite. I am, however, unhappy with the terminology introduced,
which is needlessly artificial. It's bound to irritate.
Also, I tend to believe that the publication of this abstract model
should be postponed until the point where it can be explained by a
simply-stated simplification of DOM concepts.
But the most important issue is to cast the definitions in terms
people can understand (I and others looked at the document several
times before I even began to grasp what it was about).
Consider the introductory phrase:
"This document specifies an abstract data set called the XML
information set (Infoset), a description of the information available
in a well-formed XML document [XML]."
Information? This word is much too overloaded. And what is an abstract
data set? So write, I'd suggest:
"This document explains how a canonical labeled tree, called the XML
tree, can be associated to any XML document. The XML tree is a
straightforward mathematical abstraction that does not distinguish
between inconsequential differences in the concrete, character-based
Then "attribute information item" becomes "attribute node",
etc.---something that's imminently understandable as demonstrated by
James Clark et al.
xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at ic.ac.uk
Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ or CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
Please note: New list subscriptions now closed in preparation for transfer to OASIS.
More information about the Xml-dev