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Effective XML: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your XML by Elliotte Rusty Harold

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Item 30. Layer Functionality

There are two things that experienced developers often see as lacking in XML: strong typing and a processing model. However, it turns out that the omission of both of these is a key component of XML's extensibility. Provided only that well-formedness can be maintained, local processes can much better fit XML to their needs because they aren't forced into a fixed group of types or a fixed processing model. Item 25 addressed the problems with strong typing. Now let's look at the processing non-model.

XML processing is typically implemented as a chain of operations in which the output from one step becomes input to the next step. Each step performs a single task; for example, validation, schema validation, XInclude ...

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