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RE: [xml-dev] Wikipedia on XML

Audience considered, DTD’s aren’t the basis for XML.  IMO, they are a system device from SGML that XML carried over in context of the singular specification itself.   At the time, they ensured validation as a system feature would be preserved until other means were formulated and formally published.  It bridged a perceived chasm. 


So a decision made in a time for the needs of that time.  Still relevant?   I dunno.   The usual cliché is you never know how used or useful a feature is in a standard until you try to take it out.




-----Original Message-----
From: Kurt Cagle [mailto:kurt.cagle@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, August 21, 2009 8:10 PM
To: Len Bullard
Cc: Elliotte Rusty Harold; Michael Kay; Tim Bray; XML Developers List
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Wikipedia on XML


Keep in mind audience here. I'd be inclined rather to indicate that an XML document is a valid SGML document as well, that for this reason there is an implicit assumption that a DTD exists for any created XML document type, but that current usage is increasingly to keep such DTD's implicit in favor of more explicit definitions by other schemas.

This keeps the primacy of place for DTDs as the foundation of XML in theory while largely ignoring their existence in practice.

Kurt Cagle
Managing Editor

On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 4:52 PM, Len Bullard <cbullard@hiwaay.net> wrote:

Elliotte is right. The DTD formally ensures that well-formedness is not the
single possible basis of acceptance of an XML instance.  Preferences for how
that is documented seem to break down when describing why that is necessary.


From: Elliotte Rusty Harold [mailto:elharo@ibiblio.org]

No, I don't think that's sufficient. FDTDs are fundamentally
integrated into the design of an XML parser. They are not optional
pieces one can ignore. Nor are they just a schema language either.
They have noticeable effects on a document's infoset even in the
absence of validation. Yes, in hindsight, this was a mistake; but it's
not one we can ignore or sweep under the rug, much as we might wish
things were otherwise. :-(


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