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- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Sun, 9 Mar 97 22:30:05 EST
The question about how to expand entities may arise, I think, because
XML, like SGML, is not layered.
Most programming languages talk explicitly about tokenisation,
or tokenization if you prefer :-), and in doing so explain how
the sequence of tokens that a compiler (say) sees is derived from
an input stream. Usually, comments are stripped at this stage,
and in languages such as C or SGML that have (in effect) macros,
the macros are expanded at input time.
I'd personally like to see a version of the XML spec in which there
was no S production, but rather a list of things that are self-delimiting
(such as <) and don't require whitespace; the explanation about
entities would then be clearer.
SGML entities can't all be expanded at input time, since some
of them are of differing types (e.g. external files) and must be
treated differently. I'm not sure whether this applies to XML
general entities or not, but it probably does -- do we have
Maybe when the syntax settles down finally I'll do that.
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