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   Re: Proposed process for DTDs in XML (Process, Scope)

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <SimonStL@classic.msn.com>
  • To: "Xml-Dev (E-mail)" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Mon, 25 May 98 00:53:50 UT

I've divided this response into two pieces.  This one addresses process and 

Peter Murray-Rust:
>I think that this project should envision that there may well be an
>orthogonal XML-type activity of some sort and should make sure that nothing
>undermines this possibility.

I completely agree - I'd like to make this proposal a possible foundation for 
such an activity, but don't want it to get in the way of other activities.

>I'd recommend starting with those aspects of the
>DTD that survive the normalisation process. This would mean that
>distinction between the internal/external DTDs would not be included, nor
>would PEs.

I agree.  I think the processes involved in normalization can be addressed 
later and separately.  Many of them are important for usage, but they're not 
the place to start.

>After further elucidation from EliotK last week, it became clear that I
>have failed to understand external entities. (I had not understood the
>purpose and difference of NDATA.) I would urge that we start without a
>complete spectrum of entities since I suspect they will be difficult. 
>Another way of tackling it is to suggest that we manage those components
>which are most relevant to SAX (ELEMENTs and ATTRIBUTEs and some aspects of
>ENTITYs).  IOW 'what does a SAX user want from DTD information'?

Elements and attributes are definitely my focus.  Entities pose some other 
problems.  Paul Prescod has suggested rather strongly that entities actually 
belong in a separate notation.  This is worth considering, though a somewhat 
drastic solution.

>XML-data seemed to have three components:
>	- a type-ing proposal (integer, etc.)
>	- a DTD representation (STAR, ONEORMORE, etc.)
>	- relations
>In my simple mind I could see these being disassembled into three separate
>components. I would see the middle one as equivalent to what we are doing
>and therefore the most fundamental (or at least the first we have to tackle).

The middle is definitely the target here, a much smaller target.

>Perhaps David could
>give a very brief overview of any organisational problems Simon will hit.

I would definitely appreciate this.

Simon St.Laurent
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