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   RE: What is a document?

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  • From: Mark Birbeck <Mark.Birbeck@iedigital.net>
  • To: 'Didier PH Martin' <martind@netfolder.com>, 'XML Dev' <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 15:49:28 -0000

Didier PH Martin wrote:
> Conclusion:
> -----------
> According to the actual state of the art, only Hypothesis 1 
> will fly. If we
> think of rendition, we have to think of document. If we think about
> document, then a biztalk message is also a document. The content (your
> message) is only a fragment. In the XML world there is no 
> actual standard
> notions of
> a) envelope
> b) multiple document embedding for transport (each embedded 
> fragment being a
> separate entity interpreted by different agents)

I think this is always the case; according to XML 1.0, a document cannot
be contained within another document. (Of course with SML you can have
as many documents/sentences/fragments as you like in one stream, which
I'm sure will confuse those new to XML, but still, there you have it.)

However, I think that conceptually I prefer your thinking in some of
your previous messages. Shouldn't the means by which a 'document'
arrived at your server be almost irrelevant? The fact that it was
wrapped in BizTalk or SOAP, or was retrieved through WebDAV or DASL or
was emailed with MIME, or picked up by a resource statement in RDF makes
no difference to the content. I would suggest that the stylesheet
instruction to which you refer should be for the enclosed 'document',
which will change - chrysalis-like - from a fragment into a mature
document, able to hold its own in the world and strike out

(Its difficult to read DIdier without wanting to try a few metaphors -
just to see how it feels.) :-)

It's even conceivable as these systems mature, that if one
route/protocol for delivery was unavailable another would be used, so
you definitely don't want to get too involved in the transport. Anyway,
I think these issues are for the application level, not the XML parser



PS My spell checker wants to change BizTalk to bestial. It's not been
wrong before, so watch out.

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