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   Its the semantics dummy :-) was Re: Why XML? RE: Why the Infoset?

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  • From: Jonathan Borden <jborden@mediaone.net>
  • To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>, xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 17:32:37 -0400

Simon St.Laurent wrote:

> At 11:20 PM 7/29/00 -0400, Jonathan Borden wrote:
> >Why XML then? What is so special about well-formnedness. I assert that
> >information you can supply in a well-formed document, I can supply in a
> >non-well formed document.
> Yes, but if I provide it to you as a well-formed document, you can at
> process the characters I send you according to XML syntax.
> If I don't, you can't.

Suppose we agree on MIME? If you send me a MIME document, I can process the
characters using a MIME parser in 'MIME syntax' -- so what? It is always
possible to send a perfectly well formed XML document that is totally
useless e.g.
<doc> <byte>67</byte> <byte>121</byte>... </doc>

The point is that some people might view XML as just a bunch of pointy
brackets, and so what if the syntax is perfect *who cares*. Suppose your
English syntax is perfect but you have nothing to say? What do I care about

The only reason we *need* agreed upon syntax is that we have something to
say to eachother (i.e. semantics). What interests me about XML is the
possibility of creating semantically meaningful documents.

Jonathan Borden


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