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   RE: [xml-dev] Article: Keeping pace with James Clark

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[Len Bullard]

>I liked his reference to sgmls. He is right
>about the redoing of ARCSGML being a seminal
>event.  OTOH, ARCSGML had better error messages.
>There are some things lawyers do better than
>programmers. :-)

Ah, but the key thing about sgmls was that it emitted a simple, line-oriented
implementation of ESIS - an infoset.

I would argue that sgmls's crowning achievement was to add the infoset
to SGMLs core from a programmers perspective and then
expose it in a very programmer friendly way.

This was the biggest "aha!" moment of my markup career when it dawned on
me that the parser allowed me to think purely in terms of a hierarchical
data-model view of the world and ignore syntax.

Although technically speaking, ESIS is abstract and the line-oriented notation
produced by sgmls (and nsgmls, (and PYX)) are purely James's invention, 
many serious
dollars worth of production code is based on it and the term ESIS has become
essentially synonymous with James's notation for it.



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