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Starting with Styles

Exploring XML DTD stylesheets

Issue: 8.3 (March/April 2010)
Author: JC Cruz
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 29,744
Starting Page Number: 33
RBD Number: 8311
Resource File(s): None
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Known Limitations: None

Excerpt of article text...

Today, we take a close look at that most basic of style schemas: the Document Type Definition (DTD). We begin by learning the benefits of creating an XML style sheet. Then we study the parts that make up a DTD style schema. Next, we will build a DTD style sheet for an XML-based health journal. We end the article with a review of XML and DTD validation.

The Need for Style

One aspect of a good XML document is that it must be well-formed. A well-formed document uses Unicode characters to render its data and tags. Its tags follow the correct structure for each type. This means binary tags always appear in pairs and in the right hierarchy, while unary tags stand alone. Tag names appear inside two chevrons (Ux003c and Ux003e). A slash (Ux002f) marks the start of the closing tag and the end of a unary tag. Data held by a binary tag is rendered as human-readable text or encoded in Base64. And only the opening and unary tags can have attributes.

Another aspect of a good document is that it must be valid. To achieve this, the document declares its tags and attributes beforehand. It knows the order that its tags appear, as well the data they held. The document also knows the value held by each tag attribute and which attribute is optional. And it declares any entities used by its tags or attributes.

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