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   RE: [xml-dev] Whitepapers and ScreenShots of Office 11 XML Featur es

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From: Tim Bray [mailto:tbray@textuality.com]

>On the contrary.  View Source is essential.  Read DTD is nice-to-have. 
>And for something reasonably complex, like for example DocBook or HTML, 
>in my experience it's *easier* to learn by View Source.  Anyhow, I'd 
>rather have a program read the DTD for me and tell me where I got the 
>instance wrong.  Reading moderately-complex DTDs with lots of parameter 
>entities can be immensely difficult.

So can reading a few thousand instances to make a 
statistical guess about "correct".  Otherwise, 
one accepts the browser's judgement and that as 
we have seen, is a bit dicey.

In my experience, one wants both because one 
can be trying to decide different issues of 
correctness.  What view source buys me is the 
ability to rip off a construction that I can 
verify in the browser of my choice is doing what 
I want.   Useful in the extreme but not definitive 
given that my browser of choice may be doing 
something funky, so I am back to view source, 
a piece of ripped code and multiple browsers 
I have to keep testing against.  At least with 
a DTD/Schema from the authority of record, I 
can determine the difference between "correct" 
and "working".  With systems that will enable 
both a system-bound definition and a mappable 
public definition, this becomes even more 

It's good to get the Web.  It isn't good if the 
Web gets me.

I agree about the parameter entities: a paper 
chase like swing set assembly instructions.  
The manufacturer says the parts are all there 
but finding them in the bags is frustration 
step by step, and God forbid one has to diassemble 
it and move it. 



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