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This document defines the meaning of the attribute
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Since XML 1.0, the ability of processors to identify an XML element by an explicit identifier ("IDness") has depended upon validation. Both DTDs and [XML Schema] have mechanisms to identify the structures containing unique identifiers. But neither XML Schema nor DTDs are required by all processors. A common processor type does not perform validation, nor fetch external resources for the purpose of acertaining whether the document contains unique identifiers.
This document sets out the requirements for a mechanism for determining "IDness" applicable to all classes of XML processors.