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   Re: [xml-dev] entity definitions

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At 11:55 PM -0400 4/26/04, Amelia A Lewis wrote:

>Problem: schema languages other than DTD are increasingly popular, for
>very good reasons, offering facilities not available or difficult of
>attainment in DTDs.  However, without a DTD (if only an internal subset),
>entities may not be used.

There's a faulty assumption here that a document can have only one 
schema ort can use only one schema language. That is not true. It is 
completely possible to use a DTD to define entities without using it 
to validate. In fact, I wish entity definition and validation had not 
been conflated in XML 1.0. They are two very different tasks. 
However, now that people are moving to RELAX NG, it seems possible 
that much simpler DTDs that merely serve to define entities will 
become prevalent, and we will effectively have two nice, cleanly 
separated mechanisms, one for entity definition and one for 
validation, each of which perform their specified task well.

If you wish to argue that a new entity definition mechanism is 
necessary, you're going to need to do better than noting that a DTD 
is not preferred for validation. You need to demonstrate that it is 
flawed from the perspective of entity definition, irrespective of and 
orthogonal to any issues involved in validation.

   Elliotte Rusty Harold
   Effective XML (Addison-Wesley, 2003)


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