FORWARDED from David Durand (who has mailer problems) [mentally subtract one level of >s] >Return-Path: <david@d...> >From: "David G. Durand" <david@d...> >Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 11:37:28 -0500 > >On Jan 16, 10:41am, Peter Murray-Rust wrote: >> You are not alone :-). There is a difficult decision here for parser >> writers - do they implement everything in the spec or do they go for a >> subset? If the latter they are not full XML implementations (and therefore >> cannot use the label "XML parser"). If the former, they have a *lot* of >> work to do in understanding the spec and getting it right. I have heralded >> my own incompetence in understanding NOTATION on this list :-) > >But that got better, right? > >> >> .... [trimmed] >> >> So you have the following choice: >> - encode the *whole* spec (and nothing but the spec - i.e. no tricky >> non-compliant extensions) and give yourself the label "conforming XML tool". >> - encode the bits you feel are cost effective and label it "processes >most >> XML documents, but gives 'Sorry' messages for some". > >No, this is a choice that it's irresponsible to present, in my opinion. The >point of XML is to be a _standard_ format. That means that you should use it, >or not use it. If you're not willing or able to write a conforming parser, then >you should use one or the other of the publically available ones -- even if >they have bugs, they are under active development and wider use -- the bugs >will probably be fixed, with a compatible interface. > >Tracking any standard is hard work, because of the way standards have to be >written, because some things in them are hard to understand, because people are >not perfect and our standards never are either. > >In other words, use XML, or don't use XML, but don't muddy the waters by >propagating a host of almost-XMLs. There's enough free software out there >already that you can come very close to conformance already, and expect to >reach conformance simply by use of FTP. > >[digression: my favorite standard _is_ perfect. Rough rendering from memory: >"The musical note A above middle C shall be defined to be 440 cycles per >second." A 1-page ISO standard with no ambiguities or flaws.] > >>..... > >> So the bottom line is that *if* the document author uses ENTITYs, and your >> software doesn't then you will end up with something radically different >> from what the author intended. This may or may not matter. > >> If you are the author of the document as well as the parser, then you can >> make a bargain with yourself that you will never use ENTITYs so your >> software doesn't need to. > >But of course, the documents that one writes with the intention of never >sharing them are few and (for obvious reasons) rarely involve special software. > >>If you then want other people to use your >> software you either have to add in entity processing OR give them a >> statement that you cannot process the document. What you must not do (IMO) >> is to ignore ENTITYs and assume the result is more or less OK :-) > >I'd say that if you're ignoring entities, the most mention of XML that is worth >making is to say "an XML-like language, defined by the following grammar: ..." >In other words, if you're not using XML, make clear that you're defining a new >language (and make clear _what_ that language actually is!). > > >------------------------------------------+---------------------------- >David Durand dgd@c...| david@d... >Boston University Computer Science | Dynamic Diagrams >http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/dgd/ | http://dynamicDiagrams.com/ > | MAPA: mapping for the WWW > > >---End of forwarded mail from Mail Delivery System <Mailer-Daemon@i...> > Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic net connection VSMS http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vsms, Virtual Hyperglossary http://www.venus.co.uk/vhg xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; (un)subscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
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