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   Re: [xml-dev] SGML queries

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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:  mcarr@allette.com.au
Allette Systems (Australia)      www:    http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
        - Einstein


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