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- From: David Megginson <email@example.com>
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: 18 Nov 1999 08:26:45 -0500
email@example.com (Henry S. Thompson) writes:
> Maybe I was overly influenced by the fact that my first exposure to
> pointy brackets was in the context of SGML, but I think validation is
> pretty fundamental.
I don't think that anyone is arguing against the usefulness of
validation -- Tim's point is DTDs and other formal schemas alone
supply only a small subset the validation necessary for any
real-world information exchange.
> A DTD is like a contract, it helps both clients and service
> providers to maintain a satisfactory working relationship.
It's a very simply contract, though; consider the following DTD:
<!ELEMENT song (title, composer)>
<!ELEMENT title (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT composer (#PCDATA)>
Here's a document that's valid according to that DTD, and that doesn't
fiddle with the DTD in its internal subset:
<!DOCTYPE song SYSTEM "song.dtd">
As Eliot, Tim, and I have all mentioned (in different contexts), the
primary contract *has* to be the human readable documentation, even
though the DTD is useful for detecting a certain subset of problems.
All the best,
David Megginson firstname.lastname@example.org
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