DTD-processing proposal

From: Eric Armstrong (eric.armstrong@eng.sun.com)
Date: Thu Aug 17 2000 - 20:43:49 PDT

I just sent this proposal to the XML developers at Sun:

        How about an API to expose the DTD?

A simple collection of entries would be sufficient, I think.
-- something about as structured as a DTD is.

One potential reason:
  * XML has no mechanism to distinguish between "structure" and
    "inline" tags.

  * That distinction makes intelligent XML editing possible.
    (See http://www.treelight.com/software/XmlEditor.html)

  * One way to attack that issue (presented in the paper) is
    to predefine the elements that are "inline" in the editor.

  * Another way that occurs to me is to establish the convention
    that all such elements are defined in a DTD-entity named

The DTD could then be inspected for that definition, and tags
contained in it treated as inline elements -- if editors could
access the DTD easily.

  * It's a bit half-baked, but could be part of an OHS solution.
  * It would allow a DTD to define arbitrary new tags as
  * Unfortunately, though, it wouldn't define how they should
    be displayed (as bold, or ul, or what have you).
  * It still doesn't solve the problem of having a higher
    validation standard than they typical editor understands.
    (On the other hand, any editor that *does* understand that
     validation standard could interoperate freely with the mail
     client -- and that may well be sufficient.)

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