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   Re: [xml-dev] SGML queries

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Marcus Carr wrote:
> Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> > *Bonehead elements* might be good.  Other than in
> > the SGML Handbook, I've never seen these used
> > in practice.
> 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  [...]

I think omissible *end* tags are very useful; those and
NETs are the two features I miss most when writing XML.
It's omissible *start* tags that I find objectionable.
They can save a little bit of work when marking up
preexisting text, but cause headaches later on in the

The main problem is that you have to make sure that contextually
required elements *stay* contextually required when the DTD is
modified.  Everytime I've used start-tag omission in a DTD it's
come back to bite me.

> - the classic situation is for turning something like:
>    <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. I'm surprised that there's
> so little enthusiasm for this -

For me, the first form isn't _that_ much better than

	<title>Laundry basket

to be worth the trouble anymore.  (I have used this kind of
thing in the past;  IIRC what came back to bite me in this case
had something to do with short references, and the inscrutable
error messages you get if you leave the title out...)

--Joe English



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