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   Re: [xml-dev] Character Entities: An XML Core WG View

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Anthony B. Coates scripsit:

> I'm not convinced by the argument in this document that the internal DTD subset
> is a sufficient/appropriate place for the definition of any and all named
> character/string entities.  The problem is that once you start using the
> internal DTD subset, you have to have an ELEMENT declaration for every element
> in the document, as well as ATTLIST declarations.  All of this just because you
> wanted to define " " for an otherwise well-formed document.  

This is a subtle error in understanding XML.  It is simply not the case
that a non-validating parser is free to completely ignore the internal
DTD subset.  Certain parts of it, specifically ATTLIST declarations
that provide defaults or non-CDATA attribute types, and internal ENTITY
declarations, *must* be processed by all conforming XML parsers.

It is quite common for people using RSS 1.0, for example, to declare a
few character entities in the internal DTD subset.

> And if it wasn't a preferred design choice, maybe there would be value in an
> entity declaration mechanism that works just as well for well-formed documents
> as for valid documents.

We already have one.

I will talk to the Core WG about adding parts of this message to the
Character Entities page.

[W]hen I wrote it I was more than a little              John Cowan
febrile with foodpoisoning from an antique carrot       jcowan@reutershealth.com
that I foolishly ate out of an illjudged faith          www.ccil.org/~cowan
in the benignancy of vegetables.  --And Rosta           www.reutershealth.com


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