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   RE: Common XML (was Re: Document Feature Requirements)

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  • From: David Hunter <david.hunter@mobileQ.COM>
  • To: "'xml-dev@xml.org '" <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 10:51:58 -0400

I've noticed a couple of posts which basically equate comments and PIs with
XML elements.  Is this really a common reasoning behind the work at SML-DEV?
(Perhaps I shouldn't use the word "common", in light of the new
nomenclature...)  I'm trying to understand the reasoning, a little bit.

I've seen people mentioning (perhaps not explicitly) that when you put a PI
into a document, it may not make it through round-tripping, and only certain
applications would know how to handle it; but that's the POINT.  A PI has a
PITarget - an application that knows what this PI means, and what it's
supposed to do with it.  Other applications don't (or shouldn't) need to
know about that PI.  (I'd also like to know why "round tripping" is of such
importance to Common XML, and what is meant by the term in this context.)

Along the same lines, people have worried that round-tripping documents
might lose comments, but again, that's fine.  I don't think treating XML
Comments as "comments" is just "attaching semantics"; that's what comments
*are*.  They're human-readable information which is inserted into the
document, and are not part of the document itself.

If Common XML is advocating that you don't do things like
<!--bgcolor='whatever'--> because it's not really part of the document, then
I'm right there with the SML-DEV developers.  But if they're saying that you
should instead include comment information in elements, so that they can
make it through this nebulous "round tripping" concept, then they've lost
me, because comments are not supposed to be part of the document, and we
shouldn't be treating them as such.

David Hunter

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