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   Re: "XML is a subset of SGML" - True or False?

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  • From: richard@cogsci.ed.ac.uk (Richard Tobin)
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: 2 Jul 2000 18:20:50 GMT

In article <e8.68b6a1a.26908d3a@aol.com>,  <AndrewWatt2000@aol.com> wrote:

>My perception is that XML never was truly a "subset" of SGML.

[I'm not an SGML expert, so don't take this as the last word on the

It *is* intended that XML be a subset of SGML, in the sense that a
valid XML document is also a legal (? I'm not sure what the right SGML
term is) SGML document.  Furthermore, the "Web SGML" additions to
SGML, which you can find at


extend SGML to allow (among other things) DTD-less SGML documents
provided they are fulled tagged, so that merely well-formed XML
documents can be legal SGML-as-amended-by-TC2.

>Similarly, XML is case sensitive whereas SGML is not.

I believe this can be controlled by the SGML declaration; an SGML
declaration appropriate for XML has been written.

>The secondary part of my question relates to the implications of XML Schema 
>for the assertion that "XML is a subset of SGML". As far as I am aware SGML 
>has no such feature.

Quite so.  Only XML 1.0 itself is a subset of SGML.  But note that
documents validated by schemas, and indeed the schemas themselves, are
still legal SGML documents.  Schemas don't add any new syntax.

-- Richard
Spam filter: to mail me from a .com/.net site, put my surname in the headers.

"The Internet is really just a series of bottlenecks joined by high
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