4 General Principles of the DTD

4.1 Common Attributes

All elements accept the following attributes:


A document-wide unique identifier that makes it possible to refer to the element:

<P ID=FOO>...</P>        ...        <PTR TO=FOO>


a space separated list of arbitrary identifiers that further specify the element.


would serve to indicate a footnote.


would indicate that this floating figure contains a program.


a standard 2 character code for a language. It indicates the default language within the scope of the element and is inherited unless explicitly overriden. It serves e. g. to obtain appropriate language dependent services such as hyphenation and quote delimiters.








this is rather similar to attribute LANG but for programming languages.







Emacs Lisp

4.2 Display/Inline phrase elements

Phrase elements are contained in paragraphs. But they can be either inline or displayed, and some can be either. NAME is always rendered inline. MATH is usually inline, but can be rendered displayed through the use of the DISPLAY attribute:


Lists are usually displayed, but you could request an inline enumeration as follows:


The default of whether to be inline or displayed is whatever makes the most sense for the element. When both are possible, the non default case can be explicitly requested using either INLINE or DISPLAY.

4.3 External Resources

some elements have variants whose data comes from an external resource rather than from within the document itself: the name of such an element is obtained by concatenating .EXTERN to the usual name, e. g.:

<PTR.EXTERN     TO='...'>
<MATH.EXTERN    TO='...'>

4.4 References

some elements can make references either to some other element within the document or to some external resource. This is effected through attribute TO and may be further specified with attribute KEY.

For references within the same document TO should have as value an ID; for external references, the value is arbitrary, but usually follows a recognizable syntax such as a url. KEY is arbitrary, its interpretation will depend on the kind of thing which is being referred to.

Denys Duchier
Version 1.4.0 (20080702)