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   scripts and PIs

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: XML-Dev Mailing list <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 21:41:47 -0400

While writing a bit more about notations and PIs, it struck me that maybe PIs
do in fact have a use in Web applications.  They seem like a good container
scripts within documents, perhaps a better container than the elements and
CDATA sections we're stuck using now (in section 4.8 of XHTML 1.0, for

(That was my first posting about XML, made a couple of years ago, and I'm
not convinced that 'bozo' scripters _should_ be fond of CDATA sections. See
http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/xml-dev-Oct-1997/0128.html and the
thread that followed.)

Suppose I declare a notation like:
<!NOTATION ECMAScript SYSTEM "http://www.ecma.ch/stand/ECMA-262.htm">

and then a PI like:
<?ECMAScript {document.write("Hello, World!");}?>

It seems more reasonable in many ways than
{document.write("Hello, World!");}

Any thoughts on the subject?  I'm aware that notations and PIs are both
bits of
XML 1.0 that seem to be very much out of official favor.  PIs have the same
escaping effect as CDATA sections (terminating with ?> instead of ]]>), and
scripts seem to be pretty much, well, instructions.  Applications would
need to
know what the ECMAScript URI meant, but that doesn't seem much harder than
processing <SCRIPT LANGUAGE="today's flavor">.

Maybe it's just too much coffee, too much writing.  Who knows?

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
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