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   RE: Parser differences

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  • From: "Rick Jelliffe" <ricko@allette.com.au>
  • To: <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Mon, 8 Jun 1998 18:06:51 +1000

> From:   John E. Simpson

> I've been struck by some notable differences among parsers. They
> all pretty
> much do "core XML" the same way (or at least to the same effect), but
> differ in the ways they handle (even accept/reject) some of the fringe
> portions of the spec, such as notations. These differences will probably
> blur over time; still....

It would be really great if someone can make up a list of these kind of
differences. Then OASIS/XML WG/XML-DEV etc can try to work out a consensus.

In my experience, newcomers have a great resistance to the central
XML/SGML/MIME idea: that the identification of the notation ("type" in MIME
terms") is just as important as having an element structure.

The same this is actually also true of PIs and entities. People coming from
HTML or PDF tend to reject them due to unfamilitiarity. I think this
attribute can be seen in the XSchema development. When something is slackly
defined, it works against portability and openness. And since people will
need the functionality, they will try to reinvent it using their own

In fact, treating notation attributes properly is the key to strong lexical
typing of element values: so the database people should be screaming for
this, if they have sense. Tim Bray has made an excellent list of data
content notations used by database products (dates, etc). And Martin Bryan
has made a list of all the data content notations used in ISO standards (ISO
8601 date, ISO "C", lots of graphics notations) which are perhaps more
appropriate for external non-XML entities.

Rick Jelliffe

The XML & SGML Cookbook, by Rick Jelliffe
Charles F. Goldfarb Series on Open Information Management
656 pages + CD-ROM, Prentice Hall 1998, ISBN 0-13-614223-0
http://www.phptr.com/  > Book Search > "Jelliffe"

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