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   Re: Feeler for SML (Simple Markup Language)

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 13:11:54 -0500

At 09:57 AM 11/15/99 -0800, Tim Bray wrote:
>Hmm.... just specify the use of a nonvalidating processor.  These have the 
>right to ignore external entities, not to barf, just to ignore them.  If
>the system is specified in this way, nobody will send external entities.
>(Which lord knows they shouldn't be doing in ecommerce-land anyhow).

Nope, sorry, not that easy, unless you specify the use of a specific
processor or put big warning labels throughout indicating that external
entities should not be used.  Otherwise, some brillant techie who built a
system on Aelfred or MSXML will start using external entities for things
like company identification headers and everyone else's systems will barf
when they find &mycompany; in place of <company

Specifying the use of nonvalidating processors:
a) denies you the benefits of validation, if you actually cared
b) leaves you in a no-mans-land where external resources may or may not get
retrieved, leading to different folks taking advantage of different
toolsets and expecting them to work the same way when they don't.

I wish the spec had avoided b, but I'm afraid it didn't.  We're still stuck
in this problem.

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