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   RE: [xml-dev] Validation vs performance - was Re: [xml-dev] Fast text ou

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On Tue, 2004-04-20 at 03:13, Henrik Martensson wrote:
> On Mon, 2004-04-19 at 16:46, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> > I don't buy it.   I buy that people are creating alternative 
> > syntaxes, alternative applications (eg, RELAX NG which may 
> > or may not have an 'unstoppable momentum' but has yet to 
> > show up in an RFP so not in prime time yet).  I don't buy 
> > that these are easier to learn or read once one is comfortable 
> > with XML.  To me the ease of any one feature or the complexity of 
> > any one language is quickly overcome by the network effect of 
> > instances and tools shared widely.
> Readability has a lot to do with verbosity, and the RELAX NG compact
> syntax is certainly a lot less verbose than the XML syntax.
> Another point in favor of the compact syntax is the use of regex-like
> constructs. As a programmer, this is something I am already comfortable
> with.
> One could adapt a readability formula, such as Flesch-Kincaid or SMOG to
> work with schema syntax. (Well, for the purposes of this discussion,
> anyway.) If one did, one would find that the compact syntax is
> considerably easier to read, especially for more complex expressions.
> Whether one perceives this difference in readability is another matter.
> I certainly do. On the other hand, if one is good enough at interpreting
> the XML syntax, the extra cognitive load would not be noticeable. It
> would probably still be _measurable_ though.
> Does anyone know if there has been any work done on the readability of
> programming languages? I suspect it would be quite interesting reading.
can't quite believe that you used regex and readability in the same
sentence ;)

readability i'm sure has a lot to do with familiarity. the brain learns
to look for patterns, ignore them and then get the content. 

that's why consistent layout is important - more important than the
actual layout. there's probably an ibm paper on this somewhere, they did
a lot of work on these things in the 70's and 80's.

C is a classic - should you use

if ... {


if ....


if ... {

etc ?

doesn't matter too much, so long as it's consistent.

i've even heard apl programmers claim readability - and that would have
to be the ultimate compact language!


> /Henrik
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