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   Re: Less verbose XML (Was: A little wish for short end tags (Was: RE: SD

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  • From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
  • To: Bryan Gilbert <Bryan_Gilbert@pml.com>, "'XML-DEV'" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 16:07:27 -0400

At 03:09 PM 8/5/98 -0700, Bryan Gilbert wrote:
>Work for a while in a system that has 1/2 MB ROM, 
>maybe 1MB RAM, and a CPU that is managing 
>intense calculations and I/O.
>Am I alone?  Or are there others out there with similar
>constraints who want to use XML?  I'd like to hear from

I'm developing for small devices.  And I must say, as a developer, it
certainly keeps you honest.

But I don't have a burning desire for short end tags.

At Beduin, we've learned the hard way about how difficult it is to render
HTML because some tags don't require end tags (in combo with the general
crappy state of HTML generators).  I'd guess that our parser is twice as
large as it needed to be because of these problems.  With short end tags,
in order for  us to render XML, we'd have to have a similar amount of code
to render broken XML.    So IMHO, short end tags would make my code larger
(though runtime memory requirements *might* drop - not sure).

BTW, while on the topic of verbosity, I thought the following position
paper by Rohit Khare for the "Future of HTML" conference might be of interest;

http://xent.ics.uci.edu/FoRK-archive/apr98/0465.html, "Requirements for
Interactive Access to HTML and XML Documents", aka "YML Requirements";

"XML has been accused of a great many sins, but brevity is not among them.
>From the 'waste' of </SPELLED-OUT-END-TAGS> to non-normative whitespace,
many a character can be considered extraneous. However, rather than
fragment off into new archival formats using compact end-tags,
rediscovering markup minimization, or paren-based S-expressions, we're best
off approaching the Shannon limit directly rather than hacking around it."

Well said.

Mark Baker.               CTO, Beduin Communications Corp
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA             http://www.beduin.com

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