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New working draft of XML Information Set published

Date:      Fri, 22 Dec 2000 17:40:35 -0600
From:      Paul Grosso <>
Subject:   New working draft of XML Information Set published

The W3C XML Core WG has just (2000 Dec 20) published a new working draft of the XML Information Set (Infoset) at:

Excerpting from the Introduction:

This technical report defines an abstract data set called the XML Information Set (Infoset). Its purpose is to provide a consistent set of definitions for use in other specifications that need to refer to the information in a well-formed XML document [XML].

It does not attempt to be exhaustive; the primary criterion for inclusion of an information item or property has been that of expected usefulness in future specifications.

An XML document's information set consists of a number of information items (the information set for any well-formed XML document will contain at least a document information item and several others). An information item is an abstract representation of some part of an XML document: each information item has a set of associated properties.

The XML Information Set does not require or favor a specific interface or class of interfaces. This specification presents the information set as a modified tree for the sake of clarity and simplicity, but there is no requirement that the XML Information Set be made available through a tree structure; other types of interfaces, including (but not limited to) event-based and query-based interfaces are also capable of providing information conforming to the XML Information Set. As long as the information in the information set is made available to XML applications in one way or another, the requirements of this document are satisfied.

The terms "information set" and "information item" are similar in meaning to the generic terms "tree" and node", as they are used in computing. However, the latter terms were avoided in this document to reduce possible confusion with other specific data models. Information items do not map one-to-one with the Nodes of the DOM or the "tree" and "nodes" of the XPath data model.

Quoting from the status:

Though this specification has already had a Last Call review on an earlier version, in light of the review much discussion, the XML Core Working Group has reworked the specification. The WG has decided to publish this working draft as representing its latest work and invites public comment on this specification.

Comments on this document are invited and are to be sent to the public mailing list An archive is available at .


Paul Grosso, XML Core WG co-chair

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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