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Subject: Re: XML and Large Document Manipulation
From: James Robertson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:General discussion of Extensible Markup Language <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 10 Aug 1999 19:33:40 +1000

text/plain (83 lines)

At 14:52 10/08/1999 , Deepak Chandran wrote:

>I just want to know whether my thinking is correct while converting large
>documents(books,projects) to XML.
>If I have to store a complete book in XML,What would be the correct
>Keep the whole book as a single document with a single DTD. But this would
>create a very big document which would take time to download.
>Breaking the book into smaller components such as chapter, contents page
>etc. Would this help in better management of the content? But does this
>mean that there is a requirement of multiple DTD's ie a DTD for Chapter, a
>DTD for Content page. If no links are to be maintained between documents,
>CSS would work fine. But for creating links between each document, XSL-T
>would be required.And links would have to be maintained in the following
>This would then have to be converted to HTML <A> tag using transformation
>ability of XSL.Is this method right?
>Is there some other method of interlinking the documents?
>What kind of changes would have to be made to the document when XPointers
>and XLink are implemented and supported by browsers?


For large complex documents, I would follow this

Convert the source material to a single XML file, with
a single DTD. Consider this your "storage" format, for your
use, but not seen by actual readers.

Use a powerful conversion tool like Perl or Omnimark to
convert this file into many interlinked HTML files, or
Word documents, etc. Add in lots of navigation features,
tables of contents, etc to make it easy for the user to
read the document.

This approach requires the following tools
and components only:

* the source files
* a DTD
* a single XML file
* a transformation program (in Perl or Omnimark)
* Perl or Omnimark
* the base XML specification

There is no need for XSLT, XLink, XML-Data, etc.
In otherwords, it can be developed entirely using
actual specifications, not recommendations.

Using a tool like Omnimark would also mean that
processing a large document will not require a
lot of time or memory.

I think I can safely say that this approach has
been used very successfully for a number of years,
in the real world, in SGML before XML came along.

Of course, this is only one possible approach ...


James Robertson
Step Two Designs Pty Ltd
SGML, XML & HTML Consultancy
[log in to unmask]

"Beyond the Idea"
  ACN 081 019 623

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