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What is the intent of the DTD?

Many articles I read about XML define the DTD to include actual field or element descriptions, (i.e. Address = street address). Others say it simply defines the paramaters of the file. Can you explain what the intent is of the DTD?
The DTD - as far as the parser is concerned, identifies what tags can occur in what order in the XML file. Higher levels of intepretation of the information, e.g. that "<address>" denotes "street address, "are often included in <!-- comments --> in the DTD but do not form part of the machine processable information.
This was last published in August 2002

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