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

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From: Elliotte Rusty Harold [mailto:elharo@metalab.unc.edu]

>>or perhaps
>>    \begin{person}
>>        \first-name{Gavin}
>>        \last-name{Nicol}
>>    \end{person}

>I'm not sure what you mean by this. 

Very simplified RTF.

>If that's what you meant, then you've reinvented SGML's omitted end-tag syntax, and we 
>all know how well that worked. :-)

It worked fine for the user for whom it was designed: an overworked typist. 
It helped reduce the file size and in those days, that was a good thing. 
It worked against a script-minded programmer who wanted to push and pop 
over maintaining state and it worked for anyone anyone eyeballing the document.  
Technology changes and we aren't worried about verbosity.  I do worry when the 
programmer's hard problems are solved by making the user work harder. 
It seems like bad product design.

That said, minimization doesn't buy us much these days.  Tag inclusions 
and exclusions were a nice hack for the DTD designer who used them 
sparingly, but of course, impossible for the mythical DePH to cope with. 
Erik Naggum raged against them often and yes, done badly, they created 
very weird surprises that weakened validation particularly if 
combined with any recursive elements.



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