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   Re: XML Notation PI

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  • From: John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
  • To: "Pierre, Sebastian" <spierre@Rational.Com>
  • Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 13:31:43 -0400

"Pierre, Sebastian" wrote:

>  I don't really see what it is useful for, because I remember that when a
> browser encounters a notation, he tries to give it to the program indicated
> by the SYSTEM address associated to the notation, this address can be
> pointed by an FPI.

You have (subtly) misread the XML Recommendation. Clause 4.7 says:

# They [XML processors] may additionally resolve the external identifier
# into the system identifier, file name, or other information needed to
# allow the application to call a processor for data in the notation described.

That is *not* the same as saying that the system identifier of a notation
declaration should be a path to an interpretive program.  Indeed, the
XML Rec does not specify the semantics of either the system or the public
identifier of a notation.

In SGML, however, the convention was that the external identifier information
pointed to the *definition* of the notation, either in a machine-processable
form or (more typically) in a natural language such as English.  That allowed
someone receiving the document to identify an appropriate processor,
in the worst case by implementing it!

>  For example if I have a PNG notation in my XML file, how can I get IE5
> or Mozilla to display it?

There is no standard convention for this, and indeed the use of notations
is probably excessively painful for this purpose: one must declare a
notation, declare an external entity using this notation, declare an
appropriate element with an appropriate attribute of type ENTITY, and
use the element at the appropriate place.

Use XLink instead.


Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis um dies! || John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau,  || http://www.reutershealth.com
Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau,           || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.            -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)

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