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   Re: [xml-dev] XUL Compact Syntax Study Now Online - Is XML too hard for

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Hello Jim,

> The complexity of all the forms is equivalent, so I
> don't think syntax 
> is the issue.

   Sure the form is the same in all syntax flavors.
However, the point of the non-XML syntax is to make
the syntax more compact (e.g. less keystrokes) and
thus easier to understand and use. It's not just a 1:1
mapping from <> to () or {}.

   I wrote up the compact syntax study after reading
up on the compact (non-XML) syntax for Relax NG - a
schema language for XML. See http://www.relaxng.org
for details.  In case of Relax NG the compact non-XML
syntax clearly beats the XML syntax.

> I believe the issue is that no one can really tell
> by looking at any of 
> these descriptions what the UI will actually look
> like when the program 
> is running.  I don't think there's any way around
> providing a 
> WYSIWYG-ish editor for user interfaces, if you want
> to make it 
> "intuitive" or accessible to beginners.

  I agree that UI/forms designers is the way to go to
reach Aunt Trudie and Uncle Freddie.

  Also for markup coders a good IDE helps your
productivy and makes discussions about saving a key
stroke here or there pretty pointless.

  If I may quote Marc Clifton (of MyXaml fame) from
the xul-talk mailinglist:

I guess (and this goes back to an earlier discussion),
the "modern" programmer expects a few things:

* Intellisense prompting
* Popup help
* Auto completion
* On-the-fly syntax checking
* Debugging (yes, complex xml needs to be debugged,

In other words, an IDE to make writing xml usable and
promoting xml to a first class citizen in the world of
computer languages.  That's how I'm planning to
address the issue of complexity with xml programming,
rather than "dumbing down" the syntax.
> Of course, such an editor should still allow for a
> good 
> Model-View-Controller separation.  Something that
> only Apple's 
> Interface Builder does really well, it seems (can
> someone provide me 
> with good examples on other platforms?).

  Well, the point of XUL is that your forms designer
(interface builder) isn't tied to a toolkit such as
Cocoa, Gtk+, Qt or whatever but you can choose to some
extent your toolkit and reuse to some extend your XML

  - Gerald

Gerald Bauer
Open XUL Alliance - A Rich Internet For Everyone |

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