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   Re: XML-Data: advantages over DTD syntax? (and some wishes)

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  • From: "Bruce T. Smith" <smith@Adobe.COM>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Thu, 02 Oct 1997 11:48:49 -0700

At 09:12 PM 10/1/97 -0500, len bullard wrote:
>Paul Prescod wrote:
>>> Jarle Stabell wrote:
>> > I assume most people today won't edit DTDs (either today's version or
>> > XML-Data or similar versions) in the "raw" text format. They will of
>> > course use tools, visualizing the hierarchy (XML-Data's
>> > extends/implements), selecting values from comboboxes etc.
>> If this is the case then the syntax is irrelevant for those people and
>> they are thus not relevant to the discussion of syntax.
>I also have to add that in all of the years I have done this 
>sort of work, the argument that "they won't edit this by hand" 
>is the first one to fall apart as soon as the spec is released.  
>Editors follow slowly and even when they do, the ability to 
>"hack the ASCII" is a capability you should defend with your 
>last breath.  This was an argument presented for VRML as 
>well (by Gavin Bell, as a matter of fact).  Truth is, we 
>use the editors for construction of complex objects, yes, 
>but we typically debug in ASCII with line numbers.

I think Len's reaction is a bit extreme. I may debug in ASCII with line
numbers, but I don't edit with ed or EDLIN. If I wanted to hack lots of
HTML or SGML or VRML with a text editor, I'd choose emacs or some other
editor that was aware of syntactic structures.

There's a big difference between saying that syntax doesn't have to be
convenient to type in a dumb editor and abandoning ASCII altogether. It
looked to me like Jarle was just making the former claim.

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