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

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  • From: Peter Murray-Rust <peter@ursus.demon.co.uk>
  • To: "'xml-dev@ic.ac.uk'" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 22:28:00

At 22:38 08/05/98 +0200, Jarle Stabell wrote:
>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 

[... and others agreed/disagreed ...]

This is not, of course, a new discussion - it has been vigorously debated
on XML-SIG/WG and there were differences of opinion just as there are here.
At this stage of XML it's important to agree that we should all adhere to
XML1.0 *completely* whatever we feel its merits and demerits to be.  The
full spec has only been out ca 2 months and we are seeing and will continue
to see a large amount of high quality software - it's critical that this
conforms. When there has been more experience of what level of tools are
actually used and what quality of documents are actually produced it may be
time for revisions. 

The minimum-minimization principle is extremely valuable if there are a
significant number of documents that are prone to well-formedness errors. I
still create - and will continue to create - XML files by hand. I also
write programs to create XML files. Both of these are error-prone processes
:-) and it's extremely valuable to be able to locate the precise point of

Using XML-DEV to push for immediate revision of the spec is probably
unlikely to be a very productive process. Using it to highlight unnecessary
- and therefore omissible - constructs (e.g. SDD) or areas of semantic
fuzziness is probably more likely to be useful.


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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