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One might start with some research into how compound
document architecture's have worked or not worked in
the past. A quick Google search returns for example:
Cronk, Ronald D. "Unlocking Data's Content" Byte 18(10)
(September 1993):111-120. The data in a document is often richer
and more informational than a simple text or numerical figures.
Electronic documents can be made to work for an organization in
ways paper documents never could. Various applications running
on different platforms can be linked to run as one document.
Markup languages are one way to make the data computer readable
across different applications. SGML (Standard Generalized Markup
Language) is the most widely used tagging language. One drawback
of SGML is that there is no universal standard for the specific
processing rules used for encoding and decoding documents,
another is that SGML itself only works on text. Another way to
solve the problem of document interchange is to link multiple
applications in a single document. This method is known as
compound document architecture (CDA). The two leading CDAs are
Open Document Architecture and DEC's Compound Document
Architecture. An attractive element of CDAs are that they are
not limited to text, but also allow for the interchange of
images and graphics.
There are lots more.
1. Are you willing to agree that XML only works on text?
2. Is a namespace-compound document and a CDA roughly the
same beastie? Last time around, people weren't seriously
considering wrapping more than images and graphics for
exchange. That being the solved problem, what problem
is the namespace-compound trying to solve not already
solved (beyond name disambiguation?
3. At the end of this, will you have reinvented PDF?
From: Tim Bray [mailto:email@example.com]
I'm probably -1 on the whole thing, because I don't think
we have enough experience yet to know what information is
going to be useful in picking apart and using namespace-