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   Re: [xml-dev] Re: Divorcing Data Model and Syntax: was Re: [xml-dev] he

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"Keith W. Boone" wrote:

> I think you miss the point of Jeni and Patrick's work.  The Syntax of XML does
> not allow for overlapping markup, something Jeni, Patrick, myself and others
> have to deal with on a regular basis.  LMNL and JITTs both provide mechanisms
> to resolve those problems.

I may be doubly obtuse, but I do not get what point it is that you think I have
missed. My point in the posting to which you have responded is that, as this
thread has developed, it has proven to be about processing models rather than
about the larger relationship of syntax to semantics. Is that not effectively
what you have said just above?

>  If these problems aren't the ones you need to deal with, it doesn't
> invalidate their approach or the results. Forcing their problems into using an
> XML 1.0 syntax ignores the requirements of their problem, and for what
> purpose?

I do, in fact, deal regularly with problems of concurrent markup which needs to
range from the most rarefied reaches of critical commentary down to the
character level in printed texts and to encompass lacunae, differences of
scribal hands and other physical characteristics of the manuscript and
epigraphical witnesses. It is true that I have developed an idiosyncratic
processing mechanism which respects the well-formedness constraints of XML 1.0.
It does this by segregating views of 'the text'--though the first premise is
that there is not a single text--into separate XML documents, ranging in size
from a single element to the entirety of a critical commentary. The values of
attributes on the elements of those documents provide the vehicle for joining
those documents into something very like relational database views, so that only
one aspect of 'the text' is considered at a time, but that all of the marked-up
evidence which bears upon that aspect of that instance is available. I frankly
have no idea how this approach squares with current academic opinion on the
processing of concurrent markup. It is a system which I have developed piecemeal
as necessity required. The semantics which it elaborates are obviously directly
dependent on the details of the processing, which was my point in the earlier
posting about semantics being elaborated from syntax by processing, and seems to
me to be no different from your point above that your solutions, Jeni's and
Patrick's succeed by the nature of the processing which they apply, not by the
conformity of their inputs to the well-formedness constraints of XML 1.0. It
happens that my 'serial form' does in fact respect those well-formedness
constraints, but that is beside the point that the semantics come out of the
execution of process.

>  To fit the work into something that can be used in XML?  Why is that
> necessary?

It is convenient, but by no means necessary, to use off-the-shelf XML parsers
and other standard tools.

>  They've both extended the notion of markup in such a way as to provide for a
> missing capability in XML, the ability to use overlapping markup.  Sure, you
> could develop an XML syntax that models their data in such a way as to provide
> for an XML serialization of it, but that ignores the human requirements of
> being able to easily interpret and edit that markup [remember, none of this is
> important without humans... ;-)]

As briefly described above, I have in fact developed such a 'serialization',
which does respect the well-formedness constraints of XML 1.0. I have
specifically done what I have done in the attempt to insure that both the XML
syntactic input and the semantics elaborated by the execution of process are
immediately comprehensible to humans.


Walter Perry


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