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- From: firstname.lastname@example.org
- To: email@example.com
- Date: 30 Nov 99 09:50:26 -0500
> Maybe I'm just slow on the uptake, but I suddenly realized that if SML
> omits attributes, there's not likely to be a need for empty elements.
> (Scan your favorite XML sources and see how often there are empty elements
> with *no* attributes.)
With XHTML, you've got a few - BR and HR spring to mind. Both can have attributes,
but neither must.
While I'm thinking about it, it seems to me that the SML proposal's aim has been shifted
dramatically, and nobody really seems to have noticed. The original argument was that
XML is too massive and too complex a specification, so we needed something smaller
that people could pick up on more quickly. (IIRC, an analogy was drawn between how
people have learned HTML by skimming source code vs. how hard XML supposedly is
to learn by the same method; SML was to hit closer to the HTML learning curve.)
Granted, I think this "mini-XML" is better handled by splitting the docs into Basic,
Intermediate, and Advanced concepts instead of writing new software, but I still see the
appeal. XML is a lot to tackle all at once, so simplify it a bit to let people pick it up more
easily - fine.
All of a sudden, we're forgetting the *people* altogether and trying to see how simple we
can make the *parser* - "do we really *need* to support Unicode, do we need to
support decimal *and* hex, and how about throwing elements out the window while
we're at it?" Doesn't this miss the whole point of simplifying the language so newbies
can climb on board easier? I don't mind if the aim has been changed, but I don't think it
should be changed without some sort of announcement to that effect.
If you want something that people can learn easily, the current branches of the SML
discussion are *FAR* off-target. If you want a parser that'll fit in a keychain, you'll have
to ditch the concept of easy buy-in for Joe Average. All I'm sayin' is, pick a story and
stick to it.
Rev. Robert L. Hood | http://rev-bob.gotc.com/
Get Off The Cross! | http://www.gotc.com/
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