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   Re: Why the Infoset?

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  • From: Jonathan Borden <jborden@mediaone.net>
  • To: John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>, Sean McGrath <sean@digitome.com>
  • Date: Thu, 03 Aug 2000 15:25:43 -0400

John Cowan wrote:

> >
> > (Y) This is the space where high fidelity roundtripping apps
> > live. Apps that care about the difference between:
> >         <name first = "Sean" last = "Mc Grath"/>
> > and:
> >         <name
> >                 last = 'Mc Grath'
> >                 first = 'Sean'></name>
> I think it's pretty arbitrary of you to call the Y level "high
> fidelity", just as it's arbitrary for me to call the b level
> "the Infoset".  But we both agree that a line must be drawn somewhere.

What we mean by "high fidelity" is simply this: the *parsed* model,  what is
also called a grove, has the capability of saving the document *exactly*,
character for character, from what it was parsed.

> ...
> We used to have that explicitly, with a "minimal infoset", a "maximal
> infoset" and every possible infoset in between.  It was a mess to
> describe.  ...

But it is not hard to describe, that is my point. The XML 1.0 production
rules create a parse tree which exactly describes the source document, down
to the byte. This is what I would call the XML property set, and from this
one can subset to one's desire. Several issues remain, 1) namespaces --
which require additional constraints as well as information items, 2) base
URI and other desired contextual information not obtainable from the source
character stream.

> 1) one standard infoset
> 2) conformance means documentation of what you provide and what you don't
> 3) any app can add its own info items and properties
> (right down to the a level if you want)
> 4) the "core conformance" infoset is one possible subset

Doesn't it make the most sense to subset from the full description, rather
than both add to and subtract from a partial description? Creating a "full
fidelity infoset" is not so hard, given that XML 1.0 already contains the
required production rules. Who cares if S is present 74 times? That is not
so complicated.

Jonathan Borden
The Open Healthcare Group


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