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   Re: [xml-dev] The general XML processing problem

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Patrick Durusau writes:
> > (SSL)
> > What's interesting to me about this discussion is the separation of
> > the information in the XML document from the processing it will
> > receive. Although the creators and senders of that document may
> > have their own expectations about how that document will be
> > processed, there is nothing intrinsic to the XML which binds it to
> > particular processing.
> > 
> (PD)
> Curious that the tree syntax of XML (at least if you have
> "well-formed" XML) is not seen as a processing requirement. You can
> process non-"well-formed"  XML documents via SAX (or your MOE) that
> simply ducks the question of why require the tree syntax for validity
> in the first place? Isn't that a processing requirement as well?
> Shouldn't processing decide what markup it wants to use and how it
> wants to use it?

That's an excellent question.  I'd mentioned at the end that:

> > Embedding markup in documents is already adding a lot of
> > information that might from some perspectives better considered
> > separate from the document.

The hierarchical issues arise from the particular style of embedded
markup that XML uses, and there's a serious trade-off there.  XML is not
as flexible for created labeled structures as it might be precisely
because it is typically embedded directly in documents, and because
XML's creators found ambiguity a problem.

Other processing systems could use other (non-XML) forms of markup to
avoid XML's "everything is a tree" notion, or they could use some kind
of out-of-line markup to enable the description of multiple overlapping
structures for the same document.  XLink/XPointer is one way of doing
that.  I've also been playing with my own Out-of-line fun, Ool:

I'll be talking more about Ool (and about Ted Nelson's ideas which got
me started that direction) at the Extreme Markup conference in Montreal
next month.  I think you'll be there, and I'll be posting the
presentation on my site in any event.
Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!


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