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Robin Berjon wrote:
>> Hmm? XML is just an encoding.
> Well, no, it's not. It it were, you'd be able to get two people to agree
> on the answer to the "of what?" question. XML is just a syntax. Maybe
> your application layer uses XML to encode some information, but that is
> your application's problem, not XML's.
There are several data models (and, hence, equivelance tests) in
circulation for XML - but every application uses at least one of them...
Anyone using XSLT will be looking at the XPath tree model; likewise, CSS
users will be looking at something similar. Application developers will
be looking at DOM or SAX or something else.
So yes, what the XML encodes is the application's problem - but without
applications to read it, or at least the possibility of applications to
read it, a bit of XML is just a string of bits, with no meaning or
Note that I'd include being printed out on paper and read by a human as
an application. The 'human' data model of XML will, at heart, be a
woolly mix of SAX and DOM since one will probably look at a small
snippet of a few nested elements on a few lines as a single
tree-structure unit, but will otherwise read the file from top to bottom ;-)
I mean, a string of bits is an encoding, although to decide 'of what'
you'd need to (in general) hunt down where it came from and ask, unless
it was an encoding you happened to recognise.