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   Re: A little wish for short end tags

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  • From: Paul Prescod <papresco@technologist.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Sun, 17 May 1998 15:40:38 -0400

Sorry, Steven. I still don't understand. The output of the scripts was
irregular, but it didn't use any of SGML's hundreds of "hard" features
like entities, whitespace in tags etc. The data may not have been
normalized in any formal sense, but it used a predictable set of SGML's
easier features. This is "good enough" to allow processing with regexps
and basically partial normalization. If the data had used entities,
whitespace in tags, comments etc., then I would say it was completely

But anyhow, I don't understand how you can point to your *success* at
taming a system built around a language with hundreds of minimizations as
proof that one of those minimizations should not be allowed in another
language. Had you failed, solely because of short end-tags, that would
have been a persuasive argument. My belief is that that would not happen,
because there are so many other factors. Most data falls either into the
category of predictable and simple (which yours seems to have) or
unpredictable and requiring normalization (which most data authored by
people with text editors will look like -- short end-tags or not).

Paul Prescod  - http://itrc.uwaterloo.ca/~papresco

"A writer is also a citizen, a political animal, whether he likes it or 
not. But I do not accept that a writer has a greater obligation 
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a citizen's commitment."  - Wole Soyinka, Africa's first Nobel Laureate

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