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   RE: XML processing experiments

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  • From: Jarle Stabell <jarle.stabell@dokpro.uio.no>
  • To: "'xml-dev@ic.ac.uk'" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Sun, 9 Nov 1997 23:52:22 +0100

At 07:11 PM 08/11/97 +0700, James Clark wrote:
>> If "foo" is an *internal* entity, the spec clearly requires your
>> parser to expand it for the application.  ...
>I think it's also fine to give the app control over when the parser
>performs the expansion.  

This may be the case, but it's not what the spec says today.  From
4.4 in the 970807 version:

 For an internal (text) entity, the processor must include the entity; 
 that is, retrieve its replacement text and process it as a part
 of the document (i.e. as content or AttValue, whichever was being 
 processed when the reference was recognized), passing the
 result to the application in place of the reference. 

[JS]  Some apps needs entity expansion *not* to happen, so I think the spec
shouldn't forbid the processor to let the app decide upon this. (I can't see any harm in this, just a *very* useful feature for those apps which needs it.)
F.i. authoring tools which loads the documents into some sort of "structured editor" shouldn't "flatten" the document if the user doesn't want this.
Same applies to tools which updates documents, f.i. synchronizing documents with respect to other data (data in a database etc).
(Converters may also want entity expansion not to happen)

Of course, one has to add some special logic to the processor in order to fully validate/check the document in this case (or just validate it up front with a "normal" parse (if validation is necessary at all), followed by "semi-parsing" it with "no-expansion")


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