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   Re: Q: SW for parsing DTD's

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  • From: Paul Prescod <papresco@technologist.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 01:14:30 -0400

Don Park wrote:
> I am afraid that Free-DOM currently does not provide access to DTD
> information primarily because SAX currently does not.  DTD support will be
> provided in the near future (< 2 months).

I would like to take this opportunity to stress the point that there are
two ways of unifying DTD and XML document instance processing (or *any*
processing) at the syntactic level and at the API level. The SGML grove
formalism does the latter: given a grove with information about both the
DTD and the instance (such as that provided by a version of Jade that
should be coming out early next month), you can use the same functions or
methods to navigate that information. Free-DOM will also provide this
service in a couple of months. I believe that Jumbo already converts DTDs
into something XML instance-ish internally.

If every tool did this, then it wouldn't matter whether DTDs were in
instance syntax or DTD syntax. Yes, I recognize that this means that every
tool should have an "extra" parser and grove/DOM builder. Yes, there is a
room for argument as to whether that is an acceptable price to pay for
DTD's compact and distinctive syntax. But the important thing to recognize
is that this is an option. 

If your grove/DOM API server doesn't provide access to DTDs and instances
through the same API, then its creator can correct that in that API server
without the W3C changing a single byte of the XML specification.

Paul Prescod  - http://itrc.uwaterloo.ca/~papresco

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