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   Re: XML DTD help for binary data

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  • From: John Cowan <cowan@locke.ccil.org>
  • To: Gang He <gang@cs.wisc.edu>, XML Dev <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 16:54:32 -0400

Gang He wrote:

> I am working on writing a XML DTD to describe a data file. The file will
> contain some binary data. I understand that I can use Entity and
> Notation to do the job. But for some reason I have to make the file
> containing the binary data a XML document file. Could someone please
> tell me whether I can use PCDATA for the binary data directly

A bad idea, as XML files are UTF-8 by default, and your binary data
will probably not be.  You can use an XML declaration to make use of
an 8-bit charset like 8859-1, but that will cause the file to be
woefully misinterpreted by anyone else who gets it, which is contrary
to the spirit of XML.

> or I
> should make all binary characters into character references and then put
> them in PCDATA? And if I need make all binary characters into character
> references first, is there any way to convert the binary character into
> character reference automatically?

To really give a decent answer, we need to know what the binary data
is and why it's there.  The most XML-like solution is to take the
binary data and remap it into character data in a way that depends
on the type (if integer, as decimal numbers; if structured, using
XML structure).

Give us more details, please.

John Cowan	http://www.ccil.org/~cowan		cowan@ccil.org
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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