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On Sun, 2004-06-06 at 00:06, Alaric B Snell wrote:
> Information about the structure of a site gleaned from viewing the
> source may be subject to random change; if the site published a schema
> (be it a formal machine-readable schema or a paragraph of text like
> above), they would then have the opportunity to also state how far users
> can rely on that not changing in future. They may lie, of course, but
> people will have more cause to complain if they "said" they wouldn't
> change it; so when some software that relies on it breaks, the author of
> the software can say "Hey! The news site broke its promise" rather than
> "Uh, I made an assumption that no longer holds"...
They did make a promise about what schema to use:
PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
Using the XHTML 1.0 doctype declaration constitutes a promise to stick
to XHTML, and not to mix in elements and attributes from namespaces
that have not been declared in the XHTML DTD.
And of course, they used non-conformant markup:
Always do a tag-share analysis before writing an XML
up/down/cross-translate in XSLT or DOM/SAX or whatever.
A remarkably small number of element types make up the
bulk of the markup - <em>regardless of the size of the schema</em>.
<p>--Sean Mcgrath <br />
Read the rest in <a href=
XML tag share analysis and power law distributions </a>
So, it would be fully justifiable to say that the site made a promise about what schema to use, and broke it.
I wonder why, though. I can understand bending, or even breaking, rules when
there is a distinct advantage to it. There does not seem to be in this
case, because they could just as easily have done this: