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

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  • From: Sean McGrath <sean@digitome.com>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 16:41:57 +0100

[David Hunter]
>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.

They need to know about the PI insofar as XML->XML transformations
should not *loose* the 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.)

Software that takes XML in on the input side and produces some
form of XML on the output side. This is round-tripping. Loosing
PIs, comments etc. as part of round tripping is generally

>Along the same lines, people have worried that round-tripping documents
>might lose comments, but again, that's fine.

No it is not fine. I write a program that munges the telephone numbers stored
in the 5 GB of XML that make up the documentation for my
organizations products. In so doing, I loose all the comments?
Boy, will I be popular with the tech. doc. department!

>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.

It boils down to what you are happy to loose from your XML documents
as part of everyday XML->XML transformations. I don't use XML 1.0
comments precisely because they don't make it through most
XML wringers.
<comment>I do have comments in my documents though:-)</comment>

http://www.pyxie.org - an Open Source XML Processing library for Python

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