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   Re: [xml-dev] Auto-completion in editors

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 From: "Christian Nentwich" <c.nentwich@cs.ucl.ac.uk>
> How many 100 megabytes documents does the average user edit? Surely the
> 80-20 rule (more likely 99-1) must apply here, most documents are small.
> If they are 100s of megabytes, the user should complain to their manager
> about their incompetent XML consultants.

In SGML, this issue is actually quite common, because entity boundaries do not
have to be synchronous with elements. So you can just come to a point
between markup and split the document into different files almost willy nilly.

XML alleviates this problem, by enforcing that entities
must be well-formed. (But then, sadly, the implementation of XML systems
lets everyone down by not implementing entities properly, so
XML people may find life just as frustrating for large document
as SGML users.)

SGML editing also has another common issue, which is that some
tools people use strip out all new lines. It is bad enough to have
a multi-meg text document, but when it is all on one line, yikes.

> If the document is 100s of megabytes large, the editor can simply say
> that the document is too big to provide auto-closing. Better to be
> honest and support the majority.

Or a kind editor would give the user some option to handle this on import.
Similarly with long lines. It is hard to cope with extremes, but deeming
them as pathological gives us toys not tools.
Rick Jelliffe


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