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There is more than just namespace versus document type to consider.
There is also the file extension and the MIME media type, at least.
- A RDDL document
- With a system identifier and a public identifer for its Document Type
- Using the XHTML namespace as its top layer with an xsi:schemaLocation
- Served from a server as text/xml
- Given a .html extension?
- with a particular stylesheet PI
And then it could have an XAR PI , and now one of the mooted RDDL
A very relevant post from Tim Bray on the TAG list at
I think it still makes the mistake that has been consistently made by
almost everyone: that we can regard XML as something that is processed
and we can ignore applications that generate XML from scratch,
in particular editors.
When we have a document with nice namespaces we can process it
pretty generically, because we have all the bits that we need.
We can use standard DTDs and standard schemas to help us process
But when someone is creating a document, their application needs to
access declarations that help with the specific use of those elements: the
appropriate house rules etc. Merely inventing a PI or attribute
so that RDDL documents can function as document type
declarations may not get us far enough to warrant the bother IMHO.
This is because the document type is most useful when creating
and maintaining a document, not when processing it downstream,
when we have all the advantages of namespaces, MIME media
types, file extensions, stylesheet PIs.
So the primary utility of a document type should be during
creation and maintenance phases, especially when starting
a document type from scratch. During this phase, the issue then
becomes how can we provide enough resources so that desktop tools
can be configured? They need to get the house-style versions
of schemas and stylesheets, templates documents which
provide typical cases, and vendor-specific code, to allow
vendors, philanthropists and experimenters.
I think only DZIP goes anywhere near addressing these considerations,
so far, supporting RDDL, CATALOGs, vendor-specific code, templates,
We need to move beyond document types to distributable, extensible!, identifiable
(and, sure, web-locatable), system-integrator-friendly "XML Applications".