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   Re: [xml-dev] Goodbye to textual applications?

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On Thu, Dec 20, 2001 at 11:53:32AM -0500, Andrew Kuchling wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 20, 2001 at 08:36:42AM -0800, Joe English wrote:
> >XML's original requirement of compatibility with SGML has
> >served its purpose.  At this point SGML, if it is to survive,
> >needs to worry about compatibility with XML.
> But is a DTD-less XML still good for writing up novels and recipes?
> DTDs provide just about the right level of strictness for textual
> data, where ordering of elements is often all that you need and the
> readability of the schema matters.  

You sound wistful for a subset of DTD syntax that is useful for
novels and recipies.  :-)  Do we *really* need <!NOTATION>
declarations? Are IDs best defined in <!ENTITY> declarations?  And
what about unparsed entities?  Conditional sections?  Mixed content

DTDs may have one saving grace, but they have many more flaws.

> I'm a bit concerned that dropping
> DTDs will mean the end of such applications.  If you take away DTDs,
> what is there to replace them?  

Sounds like you want to keep the bath water just to save the
baby.  DTDs have a lot of warts, they don't really fit XML
documents very well, and they don't mesh well with XML data at all.

> XML Schema, which is less readable and
> provides a lot of data types that aren't useful to a textual
> application?

RelaxNG is probably the way to go.  It's starting to look like the 
multiple uses of XML demand multiple schema languages, not one
XML Schema language which binds us all.  A simple DTD schema language
(with XML Syntax) would probably be the best mesh for the problem
space you describe; rote translation to XML Schema / RelaxNG should
solve the interoperability issues.



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