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Chapter 14. Creating XML Document Type D... > XML DTDs from Other Sources

XML DTDs from Other Sources

One alternative to getting involved in the complexities of DTD design and development is to leave the DTD design to one side and work on a representative XML document. You must, of course, ensure that you consider all the likely variations of the document, and you will probably need several documents as your XML application becomes larger. However, after you have explored all the possibilities in the XML document, you can then use tools to create at least the core of the DTD for you. Although this would be almost impossible for an SGML application, this approach will often be a realistic choice for XML applications. As you can see from the real-life document loaded in XMLPro in Figure 14.12, a good XML editor will enable you to browse through the structure of the document, adding elements and attributes wherever you need them. Although you may find yourself repeating some steps unnecessarily, it is easy enough to consolidate the multiple declarations afterward. One significant benefit is gained from this approach that no specialized DTD tool can give you. By exposing you to what amounts to being a completed XML document using your (proposed) DTD, you get a first-hand taste of what it would be like for a human author to work with your DTD.

Figure 14.12. Modeling the document before creating a DTD.



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