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   Re: Frontline report from the Desperate Fgrep Hacker

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  • From: John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
  • To: "xml-dev@xml.org" <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 12:52:23 -0500

Sean McGrath wrote:

> The problem from an engineering
> viewpoint is that we have no way
> of expressing the syntactic assumptions
> if the Fgrep programs for
> those who will work with these systems
> in the future.
> Murphys law dictates that sooner or
> later a perfectly sound XML document
> will come along that blows my
> Fgrep out of the water.

>From where?  As I say, they are generated by a well-known
program.  From an engineering viewpoint, I would say
that it is a requirement on this program not merely
that it generate WFXML, but that it do so in a certain

> I floated the idea of
> XFM (XML Features Manifest) late last year
> as a declarative way for creators of
> XML content to formally specify what syntactic
> constructs their content uses. i.e. external
> entity references, internal document type
> declaration subsets, marked sections and
> so on.

But unless it were insanely extensible it
would hardly document my specific requirements
about whitespace usage.
> In the mean time, I do not use FGrep
> the way you use it. I first generate
> an XML incarnation of ESIS I have dubbed
> PYX using the xmln utility. This way,
> I can be sure that I am grepping true
> PCDATA, true element type names etc.

Plausible, but in my case unnecessary. 


Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! || John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau,  || http://www.reutershealth.com
Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau,           || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.            -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)

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