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Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> Since we often design for people who barely
> bother to understand what the brackets are for,
> using a fully minimized element seems risky
> unless one has full control of all the places,
> people, and processes in which it is used.
I agree, and I'd be reluctant to release a very economical DTD for
purposes unknown, but that's mostly a usability issue, I think. Safety
first is in the interest of the majority.
My favourite minimisation example is OmniMark's original markup of
Microsoft's Cinemania CD. The DTD was complicated, heavily minimised and
almost totally shortreffed. The 14 or so editors relied initially on
structure/syntax diagrams on butcher paper pasted on the walls to mark
up data, but quickly came to rely on the intuitive nature of the
shortrefs and the patterns they formed. They didn't understand SGML or
the DTD, and would probably have been horrified to see the complexity of
the normalised data. Ten years on, I still feel that was an elegant and
(probably) cost effective approach. Head to head, a comparable team
doing the same markup in XML wouldn't stand a chance.
Marcus Carr email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Allette Systems (Australia) www: http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."