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

From: Colin Walters
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: documentation as info
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2003 21:10:26 -0400

On Tue, 2003-09-16 at 20:29, Tom Lord wrote:
>     > 1) How do you specify what character set it's in?
> That's not an issue for this format, at the moment.

But it will be eventually, unless you only plan for example to get
patches from people whose names are renderable in ASCII.

> This is hardly an excuse for the entire mess that is XML.

It's an advantage of XML.  That isn't to say that there aren't
disadvantages of XML (there are, surely). 

> Probably -- but I have far less confidence that all - or even _any_ -
> XML parsers actually implement XML.

Certainly all of them implement entities.  If they don't, they really
can't claim to be an XML parser.

> It's funny you should say that.   Would you care to point out a Schema
> validator with a correct regexp matcher?

XML Schemas seem to me to still mainly be in their infancy.  I haven't
used them myself, only DTDs.

And my experience with DTDs has been that there is a lot of working
software out there for them.

> And that cuts deep.   Because as these things are deployed with
> incorrect matchers -- what's the consequence?   It's analogous to the 
> way that HTML parsers have to put up with so much bogus HTML -- only,
> wasn't XML supposed to fix that very problem?

Nothing can prevent people from creating invalid data.  XML just has a
lot of standard tools to check for it.

> This is so extraordinarily far off-topic and non-responsive and
> straw-mannish that it's remarkable.  Have I ever _once_ said that,
> instead of XML, people should be embracing my ".doc" format?  Even
> _once_?  

No, you didn't - I brought up your format myself as a comparison point.

> For various pragmatic reasons, my .doc format is currently the right
> thing to be using in software that I maintain and distribute. 

That's fine.  But my point was that XML could be usefully applied where
your documentation format is currently used, and it would solve some
problems with it.  

> Sorry, but those are not Real Problems except in the
> castles-in-the-sky imaginations of W3C.   

My first two points, which deal with character set issues, come up all
the time in the real world.  Systems which mishandle character sets are
one of my big pet peeves actually.

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