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   Re: [xml-dev] The subsetting has begun

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At 8:40 AM -0500 2/21/03, Mike Champion wrote:

>Anyone following sml-dev three years ago would not be surprised to 
>hear that vendors are subsetting XML for mobile, data-oriented 
>applications.  Where's the "sin" here?  What's a cellphone supposed 
>to do with an external entity reference, or a notation declaration? 
>Should well-known interoperability antipatterns such as default 
>attribute values be encouraged in lightweight applications?

The sin is in forbidding the document type declaration. If they 
choose not to load any external entities, then that's blessed by XML. 
However, this does not give them freedom to reject documents that 
contain such things, or to drop out lexical features of XML such as 
default attribute values and internal entities declared in the 
internal DTD subset.

I suspect part of the problem is that the members of the expert group 
did not have a clear understanding of the difference between 
validation and reading the DTD, between the DTD and the document type 
declaration, and between the internal and external DTD subsets.

These are common areas of confusion for a lot of developers. However, 
if you're going to write specs, you need to understand such matters 
better than the average developer.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|           Processing XML with Java (Addison-Wesley, 2002)          |
|              http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/xmljava             |
| http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0201771861/cafeaulaitA  |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://www.cafeaulait.org/      |
|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://www.cafeconleche.org/    |


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