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

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) [mailto:clbullar@ingr.com]
> Sent: Friday, November 02, 2001 10:57 AM
> To: Champion, Mike; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Re: determining ID-ness in XML
> W3C policy and doctrine are not a result of natural 
> selection.  

Hmmm ... It's certainly not a result of global optimization.  It is
definitely about finding solutions that everyone can live with, even if
nobody particularly likes.  Sounds like Darwin, and my creaky knees, to me!

But this is all a digression: my point is that an 80:20 solution to the
ID-ness problem is the best we can hope for, and either the xml:is-ish
solution or the PI solution is better than "nothing" (i.e., making everyone
who wants IDs use a DTD) IMHO.  

The main argument favoring the xml:ish solution seems to be that it
leverages the namespace mechanism and the xml: reserved prefix in a very
minimal, but powerful way.  The downside is that since it is in XML syntax
itself, it can't plausibly be defined by anyone but the W3C (or Microsoft,
now that Dubya has given Bill a free pass to conquer the Internet, but
that's another digression). 

The main argument favoring the PI solution seems to be that it can be
slipped in as a "usage convention" that won't break non-conforming
processors but can be used by those aware of the convention to declare IDs
without a DTD.  The downside is that PIs are in bad odor at the W3C and
forbidden in SOAP messages (but I think some appropriate weasel words could
be crafted to make this work for payloads delivered by SOAP, or SOAP could
explicitly recognize this as a looks-like-a-PI-but-is-not-really-a-PI
thingie like the XML declaration. 

Is this about right?  Is there any practical possibility of a "usage
convention" involving a PI declaring ID attributes being an incremental
solution that takes us one step down the evolutionary path while the
Intelligent Designers at the W3C or Microsoft or the Son-of-Hytime technical
committee do their thing?