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   What is an XML Document? [Was: Re: [xml-dev] canonicalization]

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At 7:44 PM -0500 3/4/02, Daniel Veillard wrote:

>   I would be tempted to tease and ask what is an XML document (would
>the TAG ever find the answer ;-) . I also note that in use case like
>the Jabber protocol, you never end-up with a "fully composed document"
>it only exists once the processing is finished and that it had become

Is this really a problem? According to the XML spec "A data object is 
an XML document if it is well-formed, as defined in this 
specification." That does leave the question of what a data object 
is, but I think a reasonable answer is "a sequence of bytes or a 
sequence of Unicode characters". Pretty clearly the spec does not 
intend that a data object be a traditional OOP object of some kind.

I do wish the spec made that last point explicit, but I do think it 
won't get anybody into trouble and might indeed pull a few developers 
people out of the quicksand they've mired themselves in by believing 
things like objects can be XML documents instead of representation of 
an XML document. (To cite a classic OOP example, nobody believes a 
Car object is a car. Why do developers insist on claiming Document 
objects are documents?)

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          The XML Bible, 2nd Edition (Hungry Minds, 2001)           |
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