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   Re: [xml-dev] Suggestions for a slightly less verbose (and easierto aut

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Rob Lugt wrote:
> [...snip...]  Surely Perl hackers use expat to do the hard work these days?

Many moons ago I wrote a regexp-based XML parser for Tcl.
That was followed-up shortly after by a wrapper for expat (TclExpat).

Naturally, my belief was that the pure-Tcl parser would fade
into obscurity, being (at least) 20 times slower than expat.
Much to my surprise, most of the correspondance and bug reports
that I get (bear in mind that a bug report means someone is
seriously using the thing) are for the pure-Tcl parser, not TclExpat.

It turns out that different parsers have characteristics that
are useful in certain situations.  A good engineer can determine
what is the best tool for a given job.

As far as changes to make XML simpler go, for your proposals I
say NO NO NO.  The second and third items make parsing XML
using simple tools, like REs, MUCH more difficult (it is difficult
enough already to do a proper job).

The first item (abbreviate end tags to </>) I don't like from
the pov of error recovery.  This form of abbreviation does not
make parsing easier, but nor does it make it harder.  Everything
is hunky-dory when the document is well-formed, but when that
is not the case (by virtue of author error, transmission fault,
cut-and-paste, whatever) then the task of correcting the problem
becomes much more difficult.

I recall this issue being thrashed out on this very list years ago,
so I suggest you consult the archives.

Steve Ball

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