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   Suggestions for a slightly less verbose (and easier to author) XML

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Last week there were a few posts regarding making XML less verbose.  I'm
quite sure these suggestions must have been aired before, but how about
adding the following simplifications to XML 1.2?

1)  Allow </> as an abbreviation for any closing tag.  After all
<xsl:template>...</xsl:template> is rather long-winded and the element name
in the closing tag is completely redundant.  I believe the closing tag
syntax is probably a throw-back to SGML compatibility, but if XML 1.x
discards that baggage then I think this would be a good thing to do.  I for
one get fed up with typing this redundant information especially when
authoring XSLT stylesheets.

The ETag production would change to

[42]    ETag    ::=    '</' Name? S? '>'

If Name is specified (it's optional), it must match Name from the STag

2)  Allow non-quoted simple parameter values.  Sometimes I get caught out
when copying-and-pasting HTML into my XML documents because the parameter
values are unquoted.  I'm not sure why XML added this constraint - perhaps
to make parsing easier?  Anyway, I would like to be able to specify NmToken
values without having to use quotes like so:
<test p1="not a nmtoken" p2=3.0 p3=1 p4=nmtoken/>

The AttValue production would need to change to:

[10]    AttValue    ::=    '"' ([^<&"] | Reference)* '"'  |  "'" ([^<&'] |
Reference)* "'"  | NmToken

3)  Remove the restriction preventing ]]> from being included in PCDATA.
This was only included "for compatibility" anyway.

These suggestions have the virtue of being backwards compatible because they
would not break any existing well-formed documents.

All the best

Rob Lugt
ElCel Technology


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