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   Re: [xml-dev] Come On, DTD, Come On! Thoughts on DSDL Part 9

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Arjun Ray wrote:

> If OMITTAG ever makes into XML, it ought not to be SGML's broken variant.
> One use that I'd like to have (in SGML too) is a "virtual element type"
> whose basic purpose is grouping, allowing a complex content model to be
> analysed into simpler named components.

I'm thinking more about the possibility of normalising documents that have
been marked up to a point, but that are not completly well-formed. That form
of tag omission has long been a powerful tool in a real-world scenario. The
minor problems that ambiguity raises don't seem like justification enough for
closing off that approach, though I could easily enough just continue to use
SGML when this is important.

> I've never understood the distaste for DTDs.

Me either.

> The only real eyesore is
> parameter entities.  They function as grabbags for all the things that
> were missed in the first cut at the syntax - too few kinds of declarations
> and thus the brittle practice of using a text substitution mechanism to
> "capture" conceptual categories.

Yes, they're a pain if they're used badly. If more people were less lazy about
analysis, we'd probably see a lot less of them, but that hasn't changed yet...


Marcus Carr                      email:  mcarr@allette.com.au
Allette Systems (Australia)      www:    http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
       - Einstein


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