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Re: What is an XML document?

  • From: John Cowan <jcowan@r...>
  • To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w...>, "xml-dev@x..." <xml-dev@x...>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 09:34:15 -0500

Re: What is an XML document?
Dan Connolly wrote:

> It's inconsistent with the stated design goals of the spec:
>   8.The design of XML shall be formal and concise.

XML may be formally defined, but that doesn't mean that
XML documents must be.  English can be formally defined
(more or less; our understanding of English is incomplete),
but a document in English exists iff someone has
fixed it in a concrete medium.

> Again, if you insist that the definition of XML somehow
> depends on interactions in the physical world, I'm afraid
> we have irreconcilable differences.

Not the definition of XML, only the defn. of

m-w.com gives the following definitions:

	An original or official paper relied on as the basis,
	proof, or support of something.

	Something (such as a photograph or a recording) that serves
	as evidence or proof.

	A writing conveying information.

	A material substance (as a coin or stone) having on it a
	representation of thoughts by means of some conventional
	mark or symbol.

All of which specify a substrate, not a mere abstraction.

There is / one art             || John Cowan <jcowan@r...>
no more / no less              || http://www.reutershealth.com
to do / all things             || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
with art- / lessness           \\ -- Piet Hein


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