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Re: DTD version confusion

From: Patrice Dumas
Subject: Re: DTD version confusion
Date: Sun, 1 Mar 2015 18:35:21 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-12-10)

On Sun, Mar 01, 2015 at 03:16:06PM +0100, Thien-Thi Nguyen wrote:
> Looks like Texinfo 5.0 shipped w/ texinfo.dtd 5.0 -- that's
> fine.  Even Texinfo 5.1, / DTD 5.0 is acceptable as the DTD did
> not have any substantial (non-comment) changes.  The problem,
> then, arises for Texinfo 5.2 / DTD 5.0, as DTD 5.2 shows some
> substantial changes:
> Here is the relevant excerpt from configure.ac which assigns the
> variable that holds the eventual DTD version number:
>  # version for the dtd.  It is manually set to the next version number 
>  # rather than $PACKAGE_VERSION as soon as the DTD is modified.  There 
>  # are 3 reasons for that:
>  # 1. to avoid using a DTD from internet that wouldn't be in sync;
>  # 2. to avoid unnnecessary changes in XML output file headers, in
>  #    test results for instance.  Otherwise after a release the 
>  #    devel version and the pretest versions would be used;
>  # 3. it may be kept as is in case there were no change in the DTD
>  #    between releases.  This is highly improbable, but who knows.
> Obviously 3. has been proven invalid; there were indeed changes.

But was true for 5.0 - 5.1 and more generally for releases without
changes in the Texinfo language.

> For 2., probably we can fix the testing infrastructure to paper
> over that kind of difference.  

That's doable, but I ma not sure this is would be a good thing.

> Perhaps we can even reify such
> fixes by publishing official changes to tp/maintain/catalog.xml
> and relying on the inherent redirection "technology" (i don't
> know for sure; i dread digging too deep into all things XML).

I didn't understand that part...

> For 1., well, that's the exact situation we are in now: makeinfo
> 5.2 produces XML that calls for DTD 5.0.  I don't know (yet --
> still poking around) if that is acceptable, but it certainly is
> confusing, especially after noting that DTD 5.2, ignored as it
> is, is anyway online in its canonical location (www.gnu.org).

It is not acceptable, as the new elements of the language will lead to
invalid XML.

> So, for next release, i think there needs to be first, a more
> rational (or realistic) policy on how ‘TEXINFO_DTD_VERSION’ is
> to be updated, and second, that policy should be applied and the
> change (in policy and deed) noted in NEWS as a bugfix.

I agree that something needs to change.  I think this should be in the
release process that the decision to change TEXINFO_DTD_VERSION or not
is done.

I propose a patch for Makefile.am to add a target that compares the DTD
found on www.gnu.org with TEXINFO_DTD_VERSION and the dtd in util.

> Personally, i think synching it w/ ‘PACKAGE_VERSION’ is TRT, but
> i am new to Texinfo hacking so maybe i'm missing something.

I am personnally not in agreement with that.  Texinfo DTD is tied to
the Texinfo language, not to the texinfo software.  Of course in most
cases, changes in texinfo software is a change in Texinfo language, but
it is not systematic.


Attachment: Makefile.am-check-dtd-changes
Description: Text document

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