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   A little wish for short end tags (Was: RE: SDD bogus)

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  • From: Jarle Stabell <jarle.stabell@dokpro.uio.no>
  • To: "'xml-dev@ic.ac.uk'" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 22:38:09 +0200

Paul Prescod wrote:
> If we
> presume that programmers are going to work through parsers, then why
> couldn't we leave GI's out of end tags and make XML substantially less
> verbose (qualitatively at least)? Anyhow, many people argue with some
> justification that regexp-based processing of the source files will still
> be very important and popular. I'm not convinced that the cost/benefit
> ratio is right, if we win over the awk hackers and annoy the document
> authors, but we will see.

(those who have found the discussion about short end tags tiresome 
years/months ago, please forgive me and don't read any further.)

I would love to see empty end tags making it into the standard in the 
future. In many cases, one only marks up single words, and then empty end 
tags would justify having longer and more descriptive GI's, when forced to 
write both start and end tags fully, one may be too tempted to use 
"cryptic"/abbreviated GI's.

Let's say your're making a markup language for documentating source code, 
which would be embedded inside comments in the source (like JavaDoc). Then 
you would prefer the tags to be as "silent" as possible during 
development/maintaince of the source code itself.


1. The method <MethodName>M1</MethodName> of the fantastic 
<ClassName>Class1</ClassName> can be used in situation 

to the "thinner":

2. The method <MethodName>M1</> of the fantastic <ClassName>Class1</> can 
be used in situation <Situation>X</>.

I think variant 2 is faster to read than variant 1, and you don't have to 
check the end-tags for misspellings.

The argument that compressing reduces/eliminates the size advantage of 
documents with empty end tags often doesn't apply, the document will often 
be stored uncompressed on users hard-disks, in databases and in memory.

Jarle Stabell

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