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   RE: [xml-dev] What A Document Means

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Information set is defined in the reference Peter gives. 
If that is what the authors of the paper intended, 
I understand what they intend.

They define "document" because it is a term from 
classical markup standards and gets used a bit liberally 
sometimes as a means to discriminate one system from 
another (what is the difference between, for example, 
a document and a message?).   This leads to the infamous
"what is a type" discussion that follows or precedes the 
infamous "what is a semantic" discussion and so on.   

Giving a systemic definition limits the discussion to the 
system features of a specific system.  That is why URLs 
are Uniform not Universal.  That is why discussions of 
REST devolve unless one bounds the scope of The Web to 
something less than The Internet.  One can't break what 
one is not using.  One can break what one is misusing.

Without such bounding, it turns into a philosophical discussion.  
With such bounding, hopefully, discussion itself can be bounded 
to useful goals and topics.   XML itself was defined in the 
context of a system:  SGML On The Web.  Otherwise, the group was  
reinventing SGML rather than engineering a subset.  Given that, 
a systemic definition (XML, The Web) for document is useful.

So, as document is defined in that document, no this

  <NotADocument> This is not a document</NotADocument>

is not a document apparently.  I can't even be sure 
it is an XML fragment.  It might be SGML.  OTOH, this

  <NotADocument notAtt="This is not a document" /> 

is XML.  A feature in the system makes the difference.

In other words, without the system scope, it becomes a 
debate about the meaning of 'meaning' and since we 
have done that one already on XML-Dev, most of us can 
recite the arguments by their meaningless numbers. ;-)


From: Eric Chiu [mailto:echiu@imservice.com]

Back to the basics, huh? Other than as a philosophical exercise, what is
the value of defining "document" in the the context of XML?

The definition asserts that documents per se must have a MIME type, and
without a human or computer definition of a MIME it is meanless.
So if I create a text files without an associated MIME type
(say text/html)with this content:

<NotADocument> This is not a document</NotADocument>

Does that mean it is not a document, since there is no MIME type?

In a logical system, you build other propositions from a set of axioms that
are given as it.

In this case information set is probably another (unfortunately, undefined)
axiom which probably means a set of data, which can be numbers, alphabets, words,


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