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Re: Non-infoset

refrigerator infoset
On 2005-04-10 17:36:51 -0400 Alessandro Triglia <sandro@m...> 
> My question was:  How relevant is that choice for the creator (does 
> it convey 
> any information in your intentions)?  In other words, would you be 
> happy if 
> that choice was put outside your control (say, if it was made 
> automatically 
> and rigidly by some tool)?

No.  The use of general entities for inclusion, for changing *in one 
place* the content of a document (or multiple documents) *in many 
places* is one of its most significant utilities.

> (Maybe you would not be happy, but how many XML creators would be? -- 
> especially those that are **programs**?)

Including those that are programs.  Either they replicate the 
functionality of general entities, or they lack that functionality.  
Expansion of general entities is not the same thing.  This should be 
obvious on its face.

> I'll reword my question about general entities as follows:  Suppose 
> you 
> included a general entity reference somewhere (say, as shorthand for 
> a long 
> phrase defined as an entity).  Does the presence of that general 
> entity 
> reference in the document (as opposed to the expansion of the entity 
> reference) convey any relevant information in your intentions?

Yes.  What that meaning is varies, but typically it means that this is 
repeated information, supplied in a canonical form, or it is 
information that varies in some fashion.

>  In other 
> words, would you be happy if the expansion of a general entity was 
> put 
> outside of your control (say, if it was made automatically and 
> rigidly by 
> some tool)?


> If they are irrelevant to a sufficient number of creators 
> and in different situations, then the infoset is important.

I don't think that anyone is arguing that the infoset is *unimportant* 
(although possibly someone will show up to do so ... hmm, I could make 
a case for it, actually, starting from the premise that XML is Unicode 
characters + pointy brackets).  I think the infoset would be more 
interesting to more people if it weren't so clearly a compromise 
between DOM, XPath, and SAX, and if it weren't possible to make a 
refrigerator infoset-compliant.

> The existence of a large number of people that need to see entity 
> references 
> unexpanded and need to see CDATA sections as such and need to play 
> with 
> whitespace inside tags etc., does not prove that the infoset is not 
> important 
> -- unless they were the vast majority of creators, which I seriously 
> doubt.

Indeterminate, from my perspective.  A significant number of *jobs* 
(particular use cases, say) don't seem to need this stuff.  A 
remarkably large number of companies adopting XML seem to be 
remarkably reluctant to lose these advantages.

I'm hardly going to claim that these people represent the vast 
majority of creators, unless you would like to claim that the vast 
majority of creators don't need these things, in which case I will 
make the equally untestable counter-assertion, based on my experience 
(and out of natural evil cussedness).

Amelia A. Lewis                    amyzing {at} talsever.com
There are two major products that came out of Berkeley: LSD and BSD
Unix.  We don't believe this to be a coincidence.

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