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RE: Formatting Processing Instructions

They are XML, David.   The debate for getting rid of them came down to them being an escape clause for hopefully unusual situations.  Simply, they are used to pass out-of-band local system information to another system of the same kind (for some n of kind.  Versions matter.)   Mostly I see them used to pass formatting information such as in the example.


I’m not going to bother defending them.  They can have legitimate uses given short lived instances with either very well-defined semantics and as circumscribed as possible.  On the other hand, I’m rather surprised to be seeing documents full of them produced by tools that possibly should be retired if possible (not possible where there is not agreement or working XSL and that is very possible).


In this case, I believe they should have disappeared by now but apparently not, so let me be more specific:  are those of you publishing to the 2361 B standard or using more specifically, 40051B_AMCCOM.fosi, still using these?


FWIW:  the C version using XSL is a smarter system and will work well once the bugs in the XSL are worked out, documents describing the XSL contributions published, a few bugs in the DTD fixed (all easy).  It will be a bloody day getting it accepted but that’s a different problem.




From: David Lee [mailto:dlee@calldei.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 2:31 PM
To: Len Bullard; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: RE: Formatting Processing Instructions


I for one have NEVER used a PI nor have ever encountered one nor have ever found any desirable use for one.

Reading the specs for PI's years ago always left me wondering ... of the few things XML allows why PI's?

They must have grand uses but I never figured it out.   I have missed the boat if there ever was one.


So *MY* follow-up question is What were PIs used for that they were so important to include in XML ?

My guess being something from the SGML world which I never visited in my starship. 






David A. Lee




From: Len Bullard [mailto:Len.Bullard@ses-i.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 3:23 PM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: [xml-dev] Formatting Processing Instructions


I’ve been away from XML military tech pubs for some years, so a question:  are formatting processing instructions still very common or should XSL-FO, FOSI etc. have eliminated those by now?


Is this

<?PubTbl row rht=”0.31in” />


still common in delivered documents?   Does this impact the reusability of the deliverable?


I had thought items like that were long gone but apparently not.  


Len Bullard

ILS Manager

Science and Engineering Services, Inc

248 Dunlop Blvd.

Huntsville, AL 35824



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