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   Forget SML. We need RTSML.

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  • From: "Jelks Cabaniss" <jelks@jelks.nu>
  • To: "'XML Dev'" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999 17:20:16 -0500

Simple Markup Language is too hard.  We need Really Truly Simple Markup
Language.

Just like attributes (which make a document more difficult to parse, cause
religious controversies, etc.), sub-elements are troublesome.  We need to do
away with sub-elements.

Here is a typical RTSML document:

<WarAndPeace>
	English translation of War and Peace
	in its entirety goes here
	(snipped for brevity).
	...
</WarAndPeace>

With this setup, we can also do away with entities.  RTSML is English-only, so
we don't need Unicode character references.  We don't even need the predefined
entities.  The parser treats *everything* between the one and only <Tag> and
</Tag> as content.  No more worrying about < and &.

No more empty elements.  No more having to "walk" a tree.  Branches are
inherently dangerous.  When venturing out on branches while tree-climbing as
young-uns, we'd usually bust our brains out.  No more.  Shinny up and down that
single trunk without a bruise.

Here's the first draft of the EBNF for RTSML:

	document ::= StartTag Stuff EndTag
	StartTag ::= < Tag >
	EndTag   ::= </ Tag >
	Tag      ::= [0-'~']+
	Stuff    ::= [0-'~']*

We expect RTSML 1.0 to be a WFeCes Recommendation on April 1, 1999 or day after
tomorrow (whichever comes first).

/Jelks


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