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   RE: [xml-dev] heritage (was Re: [xml-dev] SGML on the Web)

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> Carelessness on 
> my part but I was surprised that anyone would claim that XML did not 
> have an underlying data model. 

The problem is that it should have an underlying model, but it hasn't:
it only has a "overlying" model (the InfoSet) that is retrofitted to the
syntax. The fact that the model is retrofitted rather than being a
normative part of XML means that questions like "are comments
significant" have never been satisfactorily answered. Even the new
versions of the specs (XML 1.1 and Namespaces 1.1) do not refer
normatively to the InfoSet, so these questions remain debateable. And
the confusion over marginally-significant stuff like CDATA sections,
namespace prefixes, and inter-element whitespace continues to cause
interoperability nightmares. If people had defined the model before
defining the syntax we wouldn't be in this mess.

Michael Kay
Software AG
home: Michael.H.Kay@ntlworld.com
work: Michael.Kay@softwareag.com 


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