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   Real life XML (was: Suggestions for a slightly less verbose (andeasier t

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I'd like to jump into this long running thread to ask the question with
a different perspective: isn't real life XML already slightly less
verbose than one would think?

I have had the opportunity to run an experimental survey which is
probably not significant but probably not false in a huge proportion
either and this survey gave me some food for thought: only 1% of the
document tested in this survey were well formed XML.

Virtually all of them were XHTML but even in the documents containing an
XHTML declaration, less than 50% were well formed.

This survey has been run in March 2002, ie 2 years after XHTML 1.0 and 4
years after XML 1.0.

It's showing IMO that it's still not obvious for many sites to produce
well formed XML and also that in practice we still have to cope with
HTML and all kind of strange markup.

It's also somewhere a chicken and egg kind of problem. As long as the
vast majority of documents available on the web are not well formed
there can be no penalty for them and practical tools (such as web
browsers or search engines) must cope with them.

And as long as there is no penalty for them, why should authors bother
to produce well formed XML?

To make it short: if you feel like closing a tag, don't close it and it
won't probably make any difference...

Eric :-)))
See you in San Diego.
Eric van der Vlist       http://xmlfr.org            http://dyomedea.com
(W3C) XML Schema ISBN:0-596-00252-1 http://oreilly.com/catalog/xmlschema


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