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

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: David Hunter <david.hunter@mobileQ.COM>, "'xml-dev@xml.org '" <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 13:14:57 -0400

At 10:51 AM 4/10/00 -0400, David Hunter wrote:
>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.

On the first part (<!--bgcolor='whatever'-->), I think we're in fact together.

Beyond that, we're not claiming that comments or processing instructions
should be 'part of the document structure'.  What we're saying is that
developers who want to make sure that this information is preserved across
multiple levels of processing will probably have better luck if they create
element structures that perform similar tasks.  

I don't find the 'should' in "shouldn't be treating them as such" to much
of a moral imperative, however.  Comments are a 'part of the document' in
many situations, and choosing between element structures and comments or
processing instructions isn't always a black-and-white division.  

If you want to use comments and PIs as they are, that's fine. There are
plenty of good reasons to do so.  Just remember that the information in
comments and PIs may not survive from the parser to the application or from
one layer of an application to another.

All we're doing is providing a warning label.

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
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