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   Re: Why the Infoset?

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000 11:21:35 -0400

At 07:48 AM 8/1/00 -0700, Joe English wrote:
>It seems to me that we already have a 100% complete abstract
>model for XML: the formal grammar in the XML 1.0 Recommendation.
>This assigns a role to every character in the input sequence
>via grammar productions.  A parse tree derived from this grammar
>is also the *minimal* complete representation -- any model that
>doesn't account for every character is by necessity incomplete.

The problem I have with that is that the Infoset isn't just describing a
subset of XML syntax - it's creating an abstract representation of that
syntax.  To keep that abstraction from strangling the potential of the
syntax, I'd much rather see the abstraction provide a full representation
of the syntactic constructs _before_ subsetting it down to 'what comes out
of the parser'.

Too much gets lost in that transition, and leaving it entirely out of the
Infoset will mean it's basically lost for good.

Maybe it's time to strip XML down to the items listed in the Infoset, and
discard everything else, but that seems like a more ambitious idea than the
Infoset is supposed to be.
Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books


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