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Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
> At 4:28 PM -0700 4/8/04, Jeff Rafter wrote:
>> Man of extremes is right. Again I find myself on (what I assume will
>> be) the
>> losing side of an argument : ) How can it possibly be argued that they
>> harmful by nature?
> Because it is very common to need to create, either temporarily or
> permanently, invalid content. For instance, when I was writing
> Processing XML with Java in DocBook I typed many xinclude:include
> elements that were not provided for by the DocBook DTD. In other cases
> I've added custom elements and attributes that are not supplied by
I completely agree that an editor shouldn't prevent you from entering
something just because the DTD or schema doesn't allow it, and of course
my editor doesn't.
That is a slightly different question than whether an editor should
prompt you to enter elements or attributes that aren't valid in the
context. Using Docbook as an example, seeing all the elements in the DTD
every single time would make the assist popup pretty useless for
anything but completion.
> And in other cases, I do want valid markup. I just don't want it yet.
> I'm not ready to fill in everything that's required. For instance, I
> might begin a book by typing out an outline as section titles, without
> actually giving the sections any content, though that is ultimately
> required. But I can probably put together an outline in day, even though
> filling in the content may take a year, as long as the editor doesn't
> keep bugging me about the missing parts.
Yes, "the shortest path to a valid document is often through an invalid
document". I leave auto-validation on because it reminds me of things
that need fixing (and runs in the background so it doesn't slow me
down), but I have turned it off when I was right and the DTD was wrong.
It should be up to the user whether or not to be "nagged".
> I've tried editors that attempt to maintain validity. And they're just
> bloody annoying. Even if you want valid markup, they're either pestering
> you with pop-ups; or filling in what they think you'll add and guessing
> wrong. (There's often more than one possible child element that can be
> added to make a parent element valid.) Bottom line: they get in your
> way. They are not smart enough to figure out what needs to be done, but
> they do something anyway.
Yes. The only automatic fixups XMLBuddy does have to do with the
presence or absence of end tags. A user bugged me persistently until I
did auto-completion of </. This is one of the few features that has no
switch to turn off, but your comments have prompted me to add one.
This isn't quite what I expected from this thread; it's better. ;-}