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   Re: RE: [xml-dev] Sky is falling again...

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> >XML is great, I would never trash it, but it doesn't meet all
> >requirements. I see the emergence of little languages developed by markup
> >people as a very encouraging, grass roots sign. 
> >
> I argued against that for a long time, but have Seen the Light.  I had thought
> that the "network effect" of ubiquitous XML processors would motivate 
> people to buck up and learn the basics of XML.  For better or worse,
> this ain't happening: XML is overkill for simple, non-hierarchical data
> (c.f. "RSS 3.0") and underkill for complex text that doesn't fit into 
> a neat hierarchy (c.f. LMNL). People are inventing alternate syntaxes to ease the
> pain, and putting in a transformation step in their processing pipeline
> to XML-ize or HTML-ize it.  

This is the LISP-like apporach that others have mentioned?
> Question: this was a much-touted advantage of SGML, but did/do off-the-shelf 
> SGML processors (Epic, XMetal, SP, etc.) support this kind of thing?   Or was it
> something that people wrote custom code to handle for every "little language"?

"This" being the ability to create little languages. So far as I know, the
WYSIWYG editors viewed the abilty to create little languages as
superfluous, since after all, the tags can be turned on and
off... Wonderful sp (http://www.jclark.com/sp/features.htm) does support
SHORTREF but not DATATAG. I remember writing a DTD several years ago that
implemented the Bluebook standard for legal citations using
SHORTREF. Since it was SGML, no "custom code" was required to handle it,
and if you wanted SGML angle brackets, you used sgmlnorm. (This could be
viewed as a recognition that whitespace and punctujation were the first
forms of markup.)

It should be stressed that such a document was in fact 100% valid
SGML, even though it looked like (and was) also a little language. It
didn't need to be transformed into order to be valid, that is.

Sam Hunting
eTopicality, Inc.

"Turn your searching experience into a finding experience."(tm)

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