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   Re: [xml-dev] Xml is _not_ self describing

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At 9:50 PM -0500 1/16/02, Gavin Thomas Nicol wrote:

>The formats aren't equivalent in information content though. Most CSV
>files *do* contain header information. Let's move from CSV to
>S-expressions. How about then?
>   <person>
>      <first-name>Gavin</first-name>
>      <last-name>Nicol</last-name>
>   </person>
>   (person
>        (first-name "Gavin")
>        (last-name "Nicol"))
>I would argue that XML provides no intrinsic benefit over this.

The 1-1 onto mapping is more obvious here than in the CSV case. 
However, I still think XML has practical benefits, even if the 
information content is the same. Simply put, XML makes it a lot 
easier for humans to match the right end-tag with the right 
start-tag, and to find out which one's missing where when there is a 
problem. This is not really an issue for machines, but it's very 
important for human-generated and edited content.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          The XML Bible, 2nd Edition (Hungry Minds, 2001)           |
|              http://www.ibiblio.org/xml/books/bible2/              |
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