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Subject: RE: XML and ASP
From: Michael.Orr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 13:20:50 -0700
design intelligence inc. seattle
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Vun Kannon, David [mailto:dvunkannon@xxxxxxxx]
> Subject: RE: XML and ASP
> 	I think that both XML to the browser and XML to a file should be
> handled the same way, build the XML with DOM API calls. When 
> the document is
> finished, serialise to the string representation and write 
> that in one call.
> 	One of the global messages of XML is the separation of 
> structure and
> presentation. Within the XML development community, we have 
> to remember that
> the application of that rule to XML itself is that the 
> structure is really
> this abstract tree (grove) of nodes. We should operate on 
> that abstract
> structure via an API or stylesheet. We should avoid operating on the
> _presentation_ of that structure as a serialised string. 

This is an important and, in my opinion, well-founded position. However:
it's premature to approach development this way today, is it not? 

The XML specification, which defines a text-based markup language, is the
only available basis for portable and evolvable implementation. Considering
a markup text to be a serialization of a more fundamental information
structure is for now purely hypothetical, as reflected pragmatically in the
fact that current DOM implementations don't conform to a standardized node
and property structure. The object models they construct over a document can
reflect essentially different interpretations of the same markup. 

I believe the view you're advocating will be reducible to practice only with
the definition of a common underlying information structure. W3C has wisely
dedicated a Working Group -- the Information Set WG, chaired by David
Megginson -- to this purpose. But the task is very large and requirements
have only been codified since February; see the Technical Note at


Michael Orr, CTO, VP R&D
Design Intelligence Inc, Seattle WA USA
phone:206-718-2103  fax:206-343-7750

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