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RE: DTD formal syntax

The only bubble burst is the logical one.  You 
are comparing an application language to the 
metalanguage.  If you say XHTML is harder to 
learn than HTML, you are comparing apples to 
apples.  Given that HTML systems are usually 
tag stackers, and that HTML itself is fairly 
close to RTF in terms of having minimal structure, 
you are probably right.

On the other hand, that is meaningless.  The 
features have to suit the task.  HTML was 
designed for formatted email with hot links. 
Then came forms and the GUI was mixed into 
the document, then came objects and the 
operating system began to be more intertwined 
and so it goes.  The diamond in the set may 
be obscured by all the emeralds in the setting.

I have built macro-driven editors in Word 
for markup.  It is a royal pain in the patootie. 
On the other hand, using MS Access, exporting 
RTF or XML is actually not too hard because one 
can take the InfoSet abstractions and treat them 
like system tables and derive the rest.  Given 
the DOM and a Schema, it becomes a piece of 

Weirdly, after some time, they go to editing 
in the ASCII editor again.  If the elements 
and attributes are named reasonably, and they 
know their subject domain, they can do it and 
will.  If they are just creating memos, they 
are using the wrong tools anyway.

Clay is hard to model with if you can't 
use knives.   Snowmen are easy, 
but the Tonka truck is a pain.


Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h

-----Original Message-----
From: Alaric Snell [mailto:alaric@alaric-snell.com]

Quoting Marcus Carr <mrc@allette.com.au>:

> > Like I said
> > XMLSpy (and probably others I am unaware of) provides this,
> > but I want more control over the data entry format.
> This sounds as though it verges on a fully-blown guided syntax editor,
> but with a very configurable GUI - I don't think you'll find such a
> thing.

I've seen it done; a client of the consultancy I work at wanted to work with
XML DTD but their people weren't particularly programmerish and couldn't
hand coding XML (sorry to burst any bubbles, folks, but XML *is* more
than HTML in the eyes of non-technical users, we have found..