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   Re: [xml-dev] SGML queries

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Marcus Carr <mcarr@allette.com.au> wrote:

| You haven't spent enough time around ugly (read "cost effective by 
| coding alone") markup jobs then. I've used omissable start and end tags 
| more times than I could count - the classic situation is for turning 
| something like:

Shades of QWERTY and (old) LinuxDoc!

|    <section>Laundry basket
|    <para>The laundry basket has a long and fascinating history...
| into something like:
|    <section>
|    <title>Laundry basket</title>
|    <para>The laundry basket has a long and fascinating history...
| It's intuitive, equivalent and less markup.

... until the time someone innocently leaves the title blank.

:  <section>
:    <para>The laundry basket has a long and fascinating history...

This throws a validation error (<title> is not omissible if the element
has no content.)  

Some people may try to "fix" this kind of problem - sometimes you really
can't think of a title - with pernicious mixed content:

  <!ELEMENT section - - (#PCDATA,para+) >

Except, that would bomb too, whenever a user innocently added a </para>
somewhere and started a new <para> on the next line...

Eventually, to keep the SGML gremlins away, it becomes prudent to specify

  <!ELEMENT title - o  (#PCDATA) >

| I'm surprised that there's so little enthusiasm for this - 

We all learn the hard way...


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