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   Re: [xml-dev] Re: URIs, concrete (was Re: [xml-dev] Un-ask the question)

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jborden@attbi.com wrote:

> XML doesn't assign semantics, it is about syntax.

Amen. But the processing of a particular instance on a specific occasion elaborates some semantics as the outcome of process. THe execution of process against syntax is, in fact, the only way in which to elaborate semantics.

> If you consider semantics a range of possible interpretations that may be given to a syntactic structure, then the XML specifications, including the infoset, define which syntactic structures may be assigned different semantics.

Not exactly. It is process, and only process, which through its execution elaborates specific semantics from specific syntax on a single specific occasion. The 'range of possible interpretations' is infinite, though countable. If specifications define--that is, limit--the semantics which might be elaborated from specific syntax or, conversely, which specific syntax may be elaborated into which semantic outcome, then those are specification inimical to the nature of
extensibility in XML.

> For example, according to the XML Infoset, one should not determine the range of interpretation of a given XML structure depending on whether or not an attribute is single or double quoted.

To bar one from doing so is to intrude into questions of potential processing where specification ostensibly governing the permissible syntax of XML should never intrude.

> Assuming that two prefixes are bound to the same namespace URI, one _should not_ (but may) assign a different range of interpretations depending on which prefix qualifies a given attribute.

It may well be bad, or aesthetically displeasing, practice. But as processing is autonomous and is executed in the instance for the specific purposes of a specific audience on a specific occasion, it is no standard's place (and particularly not the place of standards ostensibly defining permissible syntax) to intrude.

> One may however assign a different range of interpretations depending on whether an attribute is prefixed or not.

And do many other things against widely shared syntactic structures which, as process, might result in the elaboration of exotic and only locally-comprehensible semantics.


Walter Perry


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