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Re: Character Entities: An XML Core WG View

html entities in xml
Ann Navarro wrote:

> My problem has always been that to use named character entities in an
> XML Schema-based language, you have to use a DTD *as well* to make this
> happen.
> This makes XML Schema mind-bogglingly annoying as an incomplete solution
> for a language definition, that we have no choice but to use based on
> political pressure.

First, in background I would say that HTML is not an XML Schema *based* 
language, the semantics of HTML are described in written prose and 
implemented in compiled code, the schema provides error checking and 
redundant expression of some of the constraints.

Second, I agree that it's annoying that there's not one place you can go 
to write down everything about your language.

However, the argument on the other side is reasonable.  The constraints 
that govern which elements and attributes can go where and what kind of 
values they can have are like fish, and the macros for giving names to 
hard-to-write data are like bicycles.  Just because DTDs did both fish & 
bicycles we all kind of started to think that these kinds of things 
belonged together.  But really, they don't.  You wouldn't reasonably ask 
that your schema also functioned as your stylesheet, or your compression 
engine, or any number of other things; it's just far from obvious that 
funny-character-naming is a thing that a schema should do.

I wouldn't be surprised if a dozen years from now, when you do a 
language, you end up doing a schema, and some stylesheets, and some 
other things that we don't know about yet, and a DTD fragment for naming 
characters.  Sigh. -Tim


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