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RE: [xml-dev] Re: determining ID-ness in XML

That is what I find weird about the positions advocated so far. 
In both cases, beyond well-formedness process information is being 
added into the document with "magic strings", a solution that 
was not liked in the XML WG work originally, and because existing 
architectural solutions do exist to the problem.  PIs are magic 
strings of a sort and usually considered to be system strings. 
xml:id is yet another system string.

Again, why would xml:id be architecturally superior?  Without 
answers to that question, there is no reason to continue this 
thread because the requirement has not been clearly articulated. 

Yes, I've seen problems with not knowing something is an ID but 
the answer has been, find the Schema or DTD?  What, no schema 
or DTD?  Then why do you care?  Well I need to know if these 
are unique?  Isn't that a processor issue of local scope? Yes. 
So find a DTD or schema to define that.  No.  Why?  I don't 
want to open a file or I may not have the file or I don't 
like the file.  To any of these one can say, but the XML 
spec gave you a way. And so it will go.

Articulate the requirements so we have a definition of 
why we need to take a working solution and provide an 
alternative.  Really, we have to do this every time someone 
wants to add a magic string or change the core XML definitions. 
Otherwise, next year, it is yet another thread on how "hard 
XML is to implement".

And, magic strings turn it into RTF. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Marcus Carr [mailto:mrc@allette.com.au]
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2001 4:29 PM
To: Tim Bray
Cc: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Re: determining ID-ness in XML

Tim Bray wrote:

> >2.  use a PI to declare IDs
> Yecch.  Barf.  Blecch.  Feh.  Oh, this is supposed to
> be a technical discussion.

I know that Tim's not a fan of PIs, but in this situation it seems like
the lowest impact solution. What more perfect use for a processing
instruction than to tell an application "when you process, regard these
attributes as IDs"?

Considering the attributes to be IDs is document or processor-level
information anyway, not a quality inherent to the attribute or the
element that contains it. If the document or any part of it is used in a
different context, it may be necessary to treat the attributes as
something other than IDs.

It may also be desirable to periodically check that attribute values are
unique as a part of data analysis - it would be a lot easier to add a PI
and give the instance to a processer than to remap the current
attributes into the xml:id namespace.


Marcus Carr                      email:  mrc@allette.com.au
Allette Systems (Australia)      www:    http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
       - Einstein

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