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   Re: Inheritance/defaulting of attributes

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  • From: "Rick Jelliffe" <ricko@allette.com.au>
  • To: <holstege@firstfloor.COM>
  • Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 01:31:03 +1000

This discussion probably should be on comp.text.sgml, so i wont continue it 
apart from this.

> From: Mary Holstege <holstege@firstfloor.COM>
> I don't think this is such a bad solution.  Your only alternatives are to
> have to define the content model all over again (which defeats the whole
> purpose) or somehow be able to identify which part of the parent content model
> the new stuff needs to insert itself after, which strikes me as too brittle
> to be workable.

I have proposed to ISO WG8 a keyword #ANY that can be allowed in a content
model, meaning that one of any element type can be put there. This allows
base elements types to maintain their integrity. 

> It is a mistake for ordering information to be part of the abstract syntax
> declaration in the first place, IMHO.  Presentation order is, well, a
> presentation issue and has no business being declared anywhere other than in a
> presentation rule (style sheet, if you will). 

I couldn't disagree more.  Without a fixed ordering, you have to either use in-memory
processing of data  or you have to have an extra pass (or step) in your stream 
processing to reorder the data.  Stream-based text processing is a very useful
technique.  Maybe memory is cheap enough now that, with virtual memory, we can
forget about stream processing, but I don't think so yet.  But the requirement
that things should be declared before they are used (where possible) that underpins
stream processing is greatly aided by fixed-order processing.

If we don't have fixed orderings possible, we have to key everything. You may 
as well use a database!

Rick Jelliffe

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