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Re: Default for editing XML files

From: Juri Linkov
Subject: Re: Default for editing XML files
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2009 12:01:04 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1.50 (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu)

>> The question is how often users might want to switch xml-mode back to
>> sgml-mode and how easy this should be.
> My impression, from those few who chimed in on the earlier thread about
> the switch, is that there's basically no reason to switch back to
> sgml-mode.  Or is there?

I know no reason to switch back to sgml-mode.  But what I worry about
is that someone who has a reason to use sgml-mode should be able to find
an instruction how to do this.

> If hardly anyone will want to switch back, I don't think it's worth
> adding an extra knob for customizing this; we can just mention this in
> the nxml-mode docstring.

I don't think the nxml-mode docstring is an appropriate place to mention
sgml-mode.  I remember that at the early days of Wikipedia an initial
version of the article about Leo Tolstoy started with the sentence
"Along with Dostoevsky, Tolstoy is one of the most famous novelists"
that looked very silly.  Starting the nxml-mode docstring with something
like "Along with sgml-mode, nxml-mode is a major mode for editing XML"
is no better ;-)

I think a good place to mention both nxml-mode and sgml-mode is the
docstring of the xml-mode alias since the optional third argument of
`defalias' specifies the docstring:

  (defalias 'xml-mode 'nxml-mode "Docstring.")

In this docstring we could write that there are two XML editing modes,
whereas nxml-mode is the default mode, add links to docstrings of both
and provide instructions how to switch xml-mode to sgml-mode.

Juri Linkov

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