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

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Ann Navarro scripsit:

> My problem has always been that to use named character entities in an XML 
> Schema-based language, you have to use a DTD *as well* to make this happen.

This is inherent in the way DTDs and schemas (generally, not just W3C XML ones)
are processed.  DTD processing is interleaved with parsing; schema processing
is done after parsing.   The only way to change this (to allow entities
to be declared in schemas but referenced at parse time) is to utterly break
compatibility with XML 1.0.

> This makes XML Schema mind-bogglingly annoying as an incomplete solution 
> for a language definition, that we have no choice but to use based on 
> political pressure.

DTDs try to do it all, and have the usual problems of one-size-fits-all
solutions.  (Personally, I'm a 5X, and one-size-fits-all *never* fits me.)
Other solutions can take over the validation part and do it better than DTDs
can, but the non-validation part remains behind.

OTOH, if DTDs meet your validation needs as well as or better than
schemas, you are better off not submitting to that political pressure.
Es mejor morir en sus pies que vivo en sus rodillas.  --Emilio Zapata
(Or possibly Dolores Ibarruri.)

> Asking document authors to write DTDs to simply use the trademark symbol 
> (or insert your common character of choice), something they've done for 
> years, strikes me as the result of laziness on our part (we = the creators 
> of standards). They shouldn't have to do that. Any reasonable justification 
> escapes me.

The alternative is having gobs of character entities built into every XML
parser.  They are built into every HTML parser, true, but XML parsers have
a lot wider domain of application, and often need to be more lightweight.

All Gaul is divided into three parts: the part          John Cowan
that cooks with lard and goose fat, the part            www.ccil.org/~cowan
that cooks with olive oil, and the part that            www.reutershealth.com
cooks with butter. -- David Chessler                    jcowan@reutershealth.com


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