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

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> I meant "transformation" loosely enough to cover what you're talking about :-)
> So, I think you answered my question: One can write an SGML DTD using
> SHORTREFs that defines a "little language", and use the sp tools to 
> "transform" it into something an XML parser might handle.  
> Next question -- what arguments might one offer to someone who would
> prefer to whip up a yacc grammar or some Perl/Python regexp code (c.f.
> the one-line Python parser for RSS 3.0) rather than use SGML to define
> the little language?

Others more expert in those tools than I am will answer this. (There was a
huge religious controversy abotu this very point in the dim past..)

The downside of the SHORTREF approach was that the shortref syntax was
incredibly cumbersome and ugly and hard to debug (although presumably one
could do a preprocessor for it).

The upside is the content itself -- as a 100% SGML little language, a
"typist" could use it, but you got the usual SGML "back in the day" things
-- validation, DSSSL processing, HyTime addressing, and conversion to
angle brackets if needed, all for free.

I actually forgot to mention an editing tool that *did* understand
SHORTREFS -- CheckMark, from Exoterica (then Omnimark). This wonderful
tool ran only on the Macintosh (!) and I think required System 7... I kept
a pre-PowerBook laptop a time exclusively to run CheckMark on! (Of course,
the UI was that of a text editor somewhat like Nedit.)

Sam Hunting
eTopicality, Inc.

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

Topic map consulting and training: www.etopicality.com
Free open source topic map tools:  www.gooseworks.org

XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web.
Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-74960-2.


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