How and When to Create Your Own XML Document Type Definitions ( DTD )
XML Document Type Definitions (DTD’s) already exist for almost every imaginable sort of information, including newspaper articles, transcriptions of medieval plays, press releases, and bird-watching trip reports.
There are a number of compelling reasons for using an industry standard DTD:
· Other people have already solved difficult problems, for example How to represent cross-references to a bibliography or how to mark up a purchase order
If you decide not to create your own DTD, you should still follow the steps outlined in the “Process People” to ensure that everyone involved agrees to use the DTD you select.
If you do create a DTD of your own, consider making it public so that others can build on your work and perhaps even contribute software or ideas. You can get a lot of publicity and visibility for your organization within your industry in this way and make valuable contacts, all for relatively small cost. The experiences of others can also help you avoid costly mistakes.
The Building Blocks
A DTD consists of two parts. The first part contains a set of declarations of elements, entitles m and so forth, and it is called the document type declaration. The second part of a DTD includes documentation and conventions that specify how your documents and processed. Documentation is an integral part of the markup process.
The following are the most important declarations that you will use in writing a document type declaration:
Processes and People
Designing a DTD isn’t just a matter of syntax. It’s about getting a group of people to agree to use a particular markup for their documents so that they can be more productive. Make clear that people that once you finish the design of your document architecture, changes may be expensive.
One way to do this is with a formal change and request procedure, which can also become a record of why each change was made and for whom. Correcting design defects in a DTD is cheap before the DTD is finished. If you find errors after you create documents that use it, you may need to go back and correct the documents.
If you share the DTD and documents with other departments or organizations, you will need a formal change request producer, and every one involved will have to update their copies that differ from other industry-standard XML Document Type Definitions (DTD’s)
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