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

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John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com> wrote:
| Arjun Ray scripsit:

|> I've never understood the distaste for DTDs.
| My principal objection is that they provide only a single content model
| per element type regardless of context.  This arises because they conflate 
| element types with particles in content models.

Arguably this is inherent in the process of fixing names for things, just
as non-terminals are context-free in practical parser generators and BNFs.
IOW, analytic composition is the principal characteristic of element types
in this formalism.  If you need a different model, give the summation a
different name.  But this is ultimately only because computers don't deal
with imprecision and ambiguity quite as well as humans do.  The formalism
does call for a certain amount of circumstantial invention of distinct
names where humans might have found the same names more congenial.  But
insofar as incidence of the same name does not necessarily mandate the
same processing (which can be contextually controlled), I'd say that the
cost of such a naming discipline isn't onerous.

| The treatment of attributes is also weak, 

In what way?  I suppose I'm also asking for an answer to the issue of
"ontology" I raised earlier: what are attributes for?

| and nothing at all is done when alternation between child elements and 
| attributes is desirable.

Oh dear, that litmus test again.


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