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Subject: Re: HTML 3 suggestion
From: "Daniel W. Connolly" <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 26 Jan 1996 03:49:17 -0500
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In message <[log in to unmask]>, Terry Allen writes:
>Scott Preece describes some options:
>
>| object is expected to fit the DTD used by the surrounding document. This
>| is presumably what would happen if you implemented REL=INCLUDE on A
>| elements.  I think this is the behavior people expect when they suggest
>| adding an INCLUDE element to HTML.  I *think* it's what would happen if
>| you used external ENTITYs, but I haven't really looked at that, so I'm
>| guessing, based on someone else's description.
>
>Yes, I could model it with entities, which would require changing
>the document to give it an internal subset.

I disagree. Any document that you can write as:

	<!doctype foo public "FPI" [
		... declarations ...
	]>
	instance

I can turn around and write as two entities:

	<!doctype foo system "declarations.dtd">
	instance
	--------------
	<!element dtd public "FPI">
		... declarations ...
	%dtd;

I expect that internal declaration subsets will never be
part of the text/html internet media type. They might be
supported by user agents that Accept: text/sgml, though.

Consider the 2-entity document above: any old client can
grab the first entity (content-type: text/html). An SGML-aware
client can then follow the reference to "declarations.dtd"
(content-type: text/sgml).

You might worry about what happens with SGML-ignorant
clients that don't grab the declarations.

In the case of an HTML 2.0 user agent, it may say
"Ack! This isn't an HTML 2.0 document! The prologue isn't
one of the ones specified in RFC1866!".

In the real world, I think you'll see fairly graceful degradation --
the current crop of browsers will show &entity; markup rather than the
expanded entities, but information providers can decide how much
backwards compatibility they need, etc. They could even do server-side
entity processing (or down-translation, in the general case), for
SGML-ignorant clients.

Dan




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