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   RE: Parser Behaviour (serious)

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  • From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
  • To: Peter Murray-Rust <peter@ursus.demon.co.uk>, <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2000 09:16:41 -0700

At 08:48 AM 4/3/00 +0100, Peter Murray-Rust wrote:
>So my summary is:
>	- The experts (on this list) cannot agree precisely what a parser 
>and should'nt do with various combinations. these include:

It is not clear that rules could ever be written.  The current syntax
exposes (a) whether a DTD is available and (b) whether it will change
the infoset.  The application has to decide whether to read it, depending
on the application's needs.  I don't believe in compulsory schema reading,
i.e. I don't believe that you can or should expect a signal in the instance
saying what to do.  Thus at the end of the day, the only sensible
way forward is for software to make it possible and in fact easy to turn
DTD-reading on or off.  The big shortcoming in the Adobe SVG implementation
is that it doesn't allow this.  

My conclusion is that XML 1.0 should have made it compulsory for processors,
*if* they read external entities, to allow this behavior to be selected and
disabled.  And since every remotely-plausible XML parser turns out to be 
able to read external entities, we might as well have made that *ability* 
compulsory.  -Tim

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