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   Re: [xml-dev] heritage (was Re: [xml-dev] SGML on the Web)

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Hi Patrick,

> Another advantage to our approach is that you don't need a new
> syntax to make it work, benefits are available here, now, today.

You say that you aren't providing a new syntax, but well-formed XML
documents can't represent overlapping structures (unless you use
empty-element or PI milestones of course). So in my view you *are*
using another syntax -- a semi-formed XML in the examples that you've
shown -- when you work with documents that you're interpreting as
holding overlapping trees.

As your README says in your example:

TestMilton.xml  a sample input file showing overlapping analyze of a section
                of Milton's 'Paradise Lost'. (Note file has .xml suffix even
                though it is 'ill-formed' according to XML 1.0 spec.)

My point is, I guess, that different syntaxes support different kinds
of structures, and XML *doesn't* support overlapping markup. If you
change XML to make it support overlapping markup, then it isn't XML
any more -- it's a new syntax that happens to look confusingly similar
to XML.

Of course that doesn't detract from the idea of using configurable
parsers to interpret a true XML document in different ways, and I
appreciate that you're just using an existing syntax to try out these
ideas, but as an XML person I'd feel a lot more comfortable with your
examples if you'd use well-formed XML, with milestones to represent
the overlapping structures, in your examples, rather than a

(This thinking is why Wendell and I though it best to create a non-XML
syntax for LMNL; I appreciate that a new syntax might be something
that you want to avoid, but I think the only real alternative is to
use milestones everywhere, which is very tedious to write and quite
difficult to read.)



Jeni Tennison


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