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Re: Using W3C Regular Expressions

On Fri, 20 Apr 2001, Robin Berjon wrote:

> Readability is imho a valid argument. XPath as it is is more readable than
> any XML equivalent (this is not a comment on the quality of the XML
> representations that have been submitted here and elsewhere, they serve a
> different purpose and I'm already using Matt Sergeant's excellent
> representation in some projects).

In the LISP world, which was perhaps the first XML-like data
represetantion to exist (in the 1950s), this was never really seen as a
problem that I have heard of (my *mother* was born then :-)

Examples of things that sit well in XML:

(if (= x 10)

Examples of things that sit badly in XML:

(xpath 'foo (index 10) 'bar (attr 'baz))

...it's obviously not as short as an XPath, but LISP's terse bracket
notation is bearable for large structures while being adorably unobtrusive 
for little things like the above.

I designed an extension to Lisp notation to deal better with larger
elements, where:

begin foo
end foo

was syntactic sugar for:

(foo ...)


begin if (< x 10)
end if

 - some kind of two-syntaxes-same-semantics model may be useful for XML,


                               Alaric B. Snell
 http://www.alaric-snell.com/  http://RFC.net/  http://www.warhead.org.uk/
   Any sufficiently advanced technology can be emulated in software