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   Re: Architectural Forms and XAF

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  • From: "Steven R. Newcomb" <srn@techno.com>
  • To: xml-dev@XML.ORG
  • Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2000 05:38:08 -0600

[Arjun Ray on AFs:]

> The rubric is attribute-based
> processing (for which, btw, plenty of precedents exist, e.g. CSS
> styling based on the CLASS attribute), in terms of which generic
> identifiers ("tagnames") are values morphologically.  (I believe this
> is one of the major stumbling blocks to understanding AFs: generic
> identifiers and attribute names aren't names of the same order.)

Right.  I like to explain it this way:

Think of the generic identifier as the *value* (not the *name*) of the
one-and-only, always-required "nameless" attribute.  SGML and XML
would have meant exactly the same thing if the syntax of start tags
had been, for example

<gi="p">  or <tagname="p">

instead of 


Once you see generic identifiers as attribute values, it's a lot
easier to see that other attributes (named attributes, rather than
nameless ones, since there can be only one nameless one) can have
values that specify alternative generic identifiers (architectural
form names), to be used when the element is to be interpreted in terms
of other, "meta" DTDs.  (There is a one-to-one correspondence between
the names of such "architectural form name attributes" and "meta"
DTDs.  When looking at such an element, select the attribute that
corresponds to the meta DTD you're interested in interpreting the
element as conforming to; the value of that attribute is the tagname
for all purposes of that meta DTD.)


Steven R. Newcomb, President, TechnoTeacher, Inc.
srn@techno.com  http://www.techno.com  ftp.techno.com

voice: +1 972 517 7954
fax    +1 972 517 4571

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