Arrgh! - FW: Call for unifying and clarifying XML 1.0, DOM, XPATH, and XML Infoset

Nils Klarlund klarlund at
Tue Jan 25 17:07:16 GMT 2000

> >1. The Infoset is not the same as the DOM. The Infoset does not imply a
> >structure. The Infoset should never imply a tree structure, as it's
> >to describe the behavior of non-node-oriented processors such as SAX.

  "This specification presents the information set as a tree for the
   sake of clarity and simplicity.."  (verbatim, from Infoset, Last

"Tree" is a widely used term among computer scientists, logicians,
mathematicians, and so forth.  The quintessence of XML is that it's a
linear syntax for labelled trees.  (Other characterizations are
possible, of course.) The tree view is the key to the superiority of
CSS and XSLT as an abstraction mechanism over text-macro based markup
languages (like TeX/Latex).

>> I believe the W3C made the right call by making attributes not
> >children of the elements with which they are associated.

Quite possibly, but other nodes deserve some nomenclature as well, not ad

> >3. The term "information item" is a necessary one because of the overuse
> >other synonyms (such as element, attribute, and so on) in the DOM
> >specifications. Information items are none of these.

Would you call page numbers "page information items"?  The information items
are nodes in a tree (with ordereded and unordered children) and should be
> >4. Nils appears to be obsessed with terminology in the XML 1.0
> >specification, which is significantly out of date at this point. The
> >drafts should be taken as the "official" W3C position - there's just not
> >anyone providing errata to the original document to keep it in line. For
> >example, the current way of thinking says that there's a Document node,
> >which must have exactly one Element child node. XML 1.0 says something
> >slightly different, but that's not important.

No, I'm concerned that DOM, XPATH, and INFOSET do not turn out to be
essentially the same model.  That would be a great shame.  Better get it
than rush.


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