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RE: address@hidden: RE: cannot find :enable in Elispmanualindex]

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: address@hidden: RE: cannot find :enable in Elispmanualindex]
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2007 11:10:04 -0700

> I do not know how XML differs from HTML.  Perhaps something makes XML
> harder to edit than HTML; I have no opinion about that.

Just a point of info: Both XML and HTML code can be complex. And some XML
and some HTML code can be simple.

If a generalization about editing ease can be made, it is the opposite: XML
is easier to edit than HTML with an editor like Emacs, because, like Lisp,
its structure is regular. HTML's structure allows some special cases that
make life more difficult for editor assistance and analysis.

General HTML allows some things that are non-XML, purportedly to make coding
(typing) it easier or quicker for humans. For example, you can use <p>
without a corresponding closing tag </p>. That is like allowing a Lisp-like
language to drop `)' in some situations, for "coding convenience". Such
"conveniences" are of course a pita when it comes to code that manipulates
code. In Emacs, we commonly use major-mode bindings to analyze, navigate,
and manipulate code - automatically provide closing tags and such.

Emacs doesn't need the HTML departures from XML. They are not even needed
generally, except for legacy reasons. They are considered by many to be bad
features introduced for bad reasons. HTML 4.01 (which I think is the latest
standard) cleans up some of what existed before, but it still allows some of
the non-XML stuff, for backward compatibility.

XHTML is what we should target, if we do this Info conversion/replacement.
These reference provides good background, especially the first:

FAQ about HTML and XHTML: http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/2004/xhtml-faq
XHTML:  http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/
HTML 4.01: http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/

XHMTML is 100% XML *and* 100% HTML. It is essentially the HTML 4.01
standard, but made consistent - that is, made to also be XML (every <p>
needs a corresponding </p> etc.). Nothing important is lost by using XHTML
instead of the full HTML 4.01, and a lot is gained.

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