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Subject: Re: Canonical encoding for XML?
From: Sean Mc Grath <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:General discussion of Extensible Markup Language <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 7 Sep 1998 09:45:40 +0100
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[Frank O'Dywer]
>...if documents are included (transcluded?), do they generally
>appear in a canonical serialised stream or do they remain external?
>(For digital signature purposes I think they would be best brought
>inline, which is why I ask.)

It depends:-) If the referenced "document" (known as an entity in XML)
is referenced from data content and is not a binary entity then it
is included.

>
>I am also wondering if there is a "correct" way to
>reference/include/whatever an external MIME-typed document or is
>that out of XML's scope? (Again, for signature purposes, it would be
>best if the referenced doc appeared inline in the canonical
>serialised form.)
>
There are a number of ways to do it. The XLink proposal is relevant
here as well because referncing/including stuff in other stuff can
be thought of as in hypertext linking terms.

The simplest case is when you want referenced objects to
be subsumed so as to appear as a single stream of data.

There is a well worn pattern in XML/SGML for doing this:-

<!DOCTYPE book SYSTEM "book.dtd" [
<!ENTITY chap1 SYSTEM "chap1.xml">
<!ENTITY chap2 SYSTEM "chap2.xml">
]>
<book>
&chap1;
&chap2;
</book>

</Sean>

Sean Mc Grath - http://www.digitome.com/sean.htm
XML by Example:Building E-Commerce Applications
        (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0139601627/digitomeelectronA/)
ParseMe.1st - SGML for Software Developers
        (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0134889673/digitomeelectronA/)

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