Re: XML - Is there a way to use parameters?

Subject: Re: XML - Is there a way to use parameters?
From: "Simon North" <Simon -dot- North -at- quintiq -dot- com>
To: <brian -dot- modreski -at- openlogic -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 06 Feb 2007 22:51:06 +0100

Hi Brian,

Yes, there is a way. It relies on treating the XML document as if it
were an SGML document
and using so-called parameter entities in the DTD.

The basic mechanism of a conditional section looks like this:

... dog-only definitions
<![ IGNORE [
... cat-only definitions

You need to be able to switch it though, so you'd need to use a
parameter entity, and the syntax would
look something like this:

<![ %CAT; [
... cat definitions
<![ %DOG; [
... dog-only definitions

This lets the DTD control the document, but you don't want that. You
want the document to control
the DTD. You can do this by placing the entity definitions in the
internal DTD declaration in the XML
dcument. That would look something like this:

!DOCTYPE foo SYSTEM "yourExternal.dtd" [

As I remember it, in SGML (or XML pretending to be SGML) you could only
have 2 conditions; one on and one off.
If you want to add 'eagle', i.e. have 3 or more, I suspect you will have
to be a little more imaginative. You might be
able to achieve this with an XML Schema, but my personal choice would be
to see if you do it with Relax-NG (which basically takes the DTD and
gives it all the power of a Schema). Hopefully parameter entities will
put you on the right track, but fel free to contact me off list.

Regards, Simon.

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