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RE: A processing instruction for robots

  • From: Walter Underwood <wunder@i...>
  • To: "'XML developers' list'" <xml-dev@i...>
  • Date: Wed, 08 Dec 1999 13:37:26 -0800

RE: A processing instruction for robots
At 09:24 AM 12/8/99 -0800, Don Park wrote:
>If you intend the indexing PI to be used by document
>creators, it is not unreasonable to expect them to
>include it in their DTD.
>Frankly, this is one of the reasons I do not like to
>use DTD.  I am in favor of adopting the policy of
>ignoring foreign elements and attributes for extensibility.
>Absolute ordering of elements also detracts from
>extensibility.  Relative ordering of elements is fine
>My ideal solution for this problem is a small set of
>elements that can be embedded into documents.

Adding the robots info to every DTD in the world requires
unanimous agreement. Adding a PI requires non-interference
with other PIs, a vastly simpler task. Waiting for XML
to support mixin vocabularies and for those to be widely
used, could take a few years. So the element-based approach
just doesn't fit my definition of "ideal". That was the
approach I originally thought about, but there were just
too many obstacles for it to succeed.

So, though the element-based approach might be more 
comfortable for authors, the robots PI fits both the letter 
and the intent of PIs in the XML spec and it does the job.
If it is blessed as a standard, it sure would be easy for
an XML editor to add a dialog box to generate it. That 
would be even easier for authors.

Walter R. Underwood
wunder@b... (home)

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