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   Re: Last minute request for BASE64 section support in XML 1.0

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  • From: Chris Maden <crism@ora.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 16:30:42 -0500

[Don Park]
> Notation declarations have no use for non-validating applications.
> IMHO, most applications will validate only during design time and
> never during runtime.  Unless some means independent of DTD must be
> used to indicate that content is encoded form of some binary data.

The notation mechanism is provided for exactly this purpose.  I'm not
sure why it's unacceptable to you, but I don't think that developing a
secondary means of providing the same information is preferable.

I'm not very thrilled with the way notation works, but given Dan
Connolly's comments about moving MIME towards a URL-based mechanism,
then MIME types can be used as notation system identifiers.

You can not expect to process XML documents in total ignorance of the
DTD.  You can expect to process many XML documents with only the
internal subset, and you can mandate for your application that
notation declarations be in the internal subset.  I don't see why

<!DOCTYPE foo [
<!NOTATION base64 ...>
<binary-data notation="base64">...</binary-data>

is unacceptable, but

<!DOCTYPE foo [

is acceptable.  The first even provides for a measure of extensibility
(!) that the second lacks.

This discussion should probably be moved to the XML SIG, as it
involves the design of XML, not its implementation.

<!ENTITY crism PUBLIC "-//O'Reilly//NONSGML Christopher R. Maden//EN"
"<URL>http://www.oreilly.com/people/staff/crism/ <TEL>+1.617.499.7487
<USMAIL>90 Sherman Street, Cambridge, MA 02140 USA" NDATA SGML.Geek>

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