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   Re: XML complexity, namespaces (was WG)

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  • From: David Megginson <david@megginson.com>
  • To: "XML Developers' List" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 21:43:17 -0500 (EST)

Rick Jelliffe writes:

 > From: David Megginson <david@megginson.com

 > >SGML does nothing that XML cannot do.
 > I don't know how Dave can say that.

>From a system-architecture perspective, my statement is true -- what
we're discussing here are simply implementation details.  I agree that
having to use PUA characters rather than special entities is a mild
annoyance (in the past, I have dealt with similar problems trying to
represent specialised characters in early medieval English
manuscripts, including variant graphemes of the same graph).

 > In SGML I can short-reference these codepoints to entity which
 > points to the appropriate glyphs and which has other data
 > attributes to describe character properties.
 > In XML, to do this I have to write a special program to simulate
 > this behaviour.

In SGML, you have to write a special program to act on the information
in the data attributes (nothing does this out of the box); in XML, you
have to write a special program to act on the PUA.

I'd say that SGML wins a 5.2 out of six 6 on non-canonical characters
(because its approach is slightly more modular and maintainable),
while XML wins a 5.0 (because it still works).  But again, you *can*
represent non-canonical characters in both, and the difference is too
trivial to interest anyone but hard-core SGML wonks like Rick and me
-- it certainly wouldn't be worth spending time on at a large
project-management meeting.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david@megginson.com

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