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I can give two reasons to have a DTD anyway:

First, at design & code time, it provides a formal schema which acts as a
contract between all the users and creators of the documents -- if all
documents created are valid, and all readers can read any valid document,
then your system will work.

Second, your quality argument: If these documents are created by people,
then you really need to validate to prevent simple human error. Even if the
docs are machine generated, in a medical application, being paranoid about a
change to one side not being picked up on the other sounds like a good


> Hi,
>   We have a question about the necessity of DTD.  There are folks
>   among our developers who postulate that so long as the document
>   is well-formed, we don't need DTD's.  So far, so true.  However,
>   might this pose a quality problem later on especially if you want
>   to limit what are considered legitimate tags in the document?
> Regards,
> Sandra Carney