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

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Well, thinking out loud here. Correction on any technical points

Richard Tobin:
>XSLT and dozens of other applications depend on entities having
>been expanded

If &undefined; appeared in the input of something I feed to XSLT, and passed
through either 1) expanded if known, or 2) as-is as characters if unknown, I
would at least be able to experiment with non-DTD ways of declaring
entities. This can't be totally off-kilter if things like
<!DOCTYPE SYSTEM "/dev/null">
already (kind of) work today.

Someone earlier suggested:

<myStuff xml:entities="http://simonstl.com/projects/ents/HTMLrules.xml";>
   When it's 100&deg;F out, it's hot for Ithaca.

which I would love to be able to play with (without unusual DOCTYPE tricks)

DOCTYPE tricks only go so far--in the world of aggregate documents, the
one-declaration-at-the-top pattern doesn't hold up so well. (For instance,
with XForms, you have a host language, with an XForms island, which in turn
has a user-content island) And parser support is questionable, as you noted.



-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Tobin [mailto:richard@cogsci.ed.ac.uk]
Sent: Monday, November 04, 2002 3:17 PM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Character Entities: An XML Core WG View

>Are there any known cases of processing that *depends* on this being
>a WF error (and would thus be surprised if it someday became allowed)?

Well, XSLT and dozens of other applications depend on entities having
been expanded, so in effect they rely on undefined entities being a
well-formedness error (ie the kind of error that stops normal
processing).  At the very least, their behaviour is implementation
dependent if there are undefined entities, whether it's a
well-formedness or validity error.

I'm not sure what you're getting at here.  If undefined entities were
merely a validity error, how would experimentation be more tractable?
And why isn't adding a dummy doctype good enough?

In theory, something like

  <!DOCTYPE foo [<!ENTITY % x ""> %x;]>

is sufficient to make undefined entities a validity error, though
a quick check suggests that not all parsers believe that.

-- Richard

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