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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: documentation as info

From: Tupshin Harper
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: documentation as info
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2003 20:51:48 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.5b) Gecko/20030827

Florian Weimer wrote:

Tupshin Harper <address@hidden> writes:

Or use an editor that removes the need to interact with the
verbosity. The lack of contraction features is one reason that XML has
proliferated in a way that SGML never did. It makes it *much* easier
to write an XML parser, and also makes the parsing much faster. A
worthwhile tradeoff.

No, it's not.  Computers are quite good at parsing, and even SGML is
not that hard (even though it's a bit bloated).

Performance is relative. The lack of optional tags *does* make parsing faster. Sometimes, this is important.

 The lack of optional
tags makes it either hard to write uniform parsers (because the XML
DTD does not adequately describe the document structure)

This doesn't make sense at all. Clearly you mean implied tags, and not optional tags which XML has. The lack of implied tags doesn't impair the ability to describe document structure at all.

or to write
the documents using typical *NIX tools (because all the structure has
to be made explicit using tags).
Again, the lack of implied tags requires additional verbosity, but it isn't harder to generate using any procedure I can think of.

I've written down a few thoughts on this dichotomy, when I designed
the XML DTD for my web pages:

Interesting read...I agree with some bits, and strongly disagree with others. I applaud your using XML as a source format and transforming to HTML. Some thoughts: * You complain about XML's need for a BODY wrapper, but correct HTML requires it as well. * You show how DTDs have inherent redundancy, but never mention that those redundancies don't need to exist in XML schemas which are a vast improvement over DTDs. * You never mention the negative aspect of implied tags which is that it is *much* easier to make an undetected mistake. * You correctly identify dates as something that is cumbersone to represent structurally in XML. In general there is a collision between the verbose markup and the desire to structurally represent very small pieces of information. It would be great if you could define an XML attribute as a delimited (dashes, in this case) list of fields, each having it's own symantic meaning. I don't know if anybody has proposed this to W3C, but if not, they certainly should.


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