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   Re: XML as a programming tool

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  • From: Peter Murray-Rust <peter@ursus.demon.co.uk>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 10:35:08

At 14:41 19/12/97 -0500, Paul Prescod wrote:
>Sean Mc Grath wrote:
>> The concept of a DTD has a resonance with data driven programming such as
>> JSP Jackson Structured Programming and JSD - Jackson System Design.
>> I have on occasion used DTDs to document time ordered interfaces to
objects. It
>> can be a very powerful technique!
>We discuss this in a paper we gave at SGML/XML 97. We call this a


>"Software Component Interface Description in SGML"



These look very interesting. AIUI Paul's tool is for generating code and
documentation for software projects, essentially by attaching semantics to
an SGML document. In a sense the document is acting as a series of
instructions. There would seem to be extensions to recipes in general, so
that XML could be used to perform tasks - this is the vision I have for
chemistry, for example (though it could also work for cakes). In a sense
that is what I am doing in my simple case with Java menus. <SEPARATOR> has
the implied semantics of "insert a call to addSeparator() at this point".
<MENU><MENUITEM... .../></MENU> requests calls to a hierarchy of new Menu
and new Menuitem calls.

This is another reason, for example, the BEHAVIOR attribute in XLL seems
important. You could use it to do lots of things, "directed" by a core XML
script. I have already suggested we would benefit from some agreed
semantics, so that we can write the code that carries them out. For
example, BEHAVIOR="display" would call the display() routine (this is what
JUMBO does at present), but BEHAVIOR="doit" could call the doit() routine.


Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic
net connection
VSMS http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vsms, Virtual Hyperglossary

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