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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 14:01:50 -0500

At 10:46 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.  
>>Nope, sorry, not that easy, unless you ...
>>put big warning labels throughout indicating that external
>>entities should not be used.  
>Right, that's it exactly.  Even if you happen to be using a processor
>that might try to resolve them.  Sorry, I just don't see this as a big deal.

Try explaining this glitch to people who don't understand XML well enough
to understand what an 'external entity' is a few hundred times, and perhaps
your opinion of its importance will change.  The guy who used '&mycompany;'
may know what it means, but the lucky troubleshooter on the other end may
well not know - and probably shouldn't have to know.

We're probably stuck with the mess, but unfortunately it's a very big deal
to certain classes of users, particularly those who'd like XML application
to process XML documents without a lot of oversight about 'what XML really

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