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

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On Tue, 20 Apr 2004, Mike Fitzgerald wrote:

> XML is the river; little streams like compact syntaxes -- relatively
> private like Tom Passin's nifty brief Pythonesque syntax or public
> like RNC -- feed into the that river by gravity.

Amen.  Say it loud: there is almost no point in compact syntaxes for
interop on the wire -- for that, you need pointy brackets.

In the quite separate question of what you see on the screen, compact
syntaxes have a role to play.  XML can be a real pig to look at, and
``because notation is important as a vehicle for thought syntax should be
tailored to be appropriate to the application and the intended audience''
[Bob Foster, earlier].

And that's OK.  Because what transformers, formatters and co. _actually_
deal with is almost always SAX streams (or something deriving from them),
and how you generate that stream is essentially a private tool choice,
which doesn't have to take over the world.

It's perfectly easy to see a general purpose XSLT engine transforming
XML in Thomas Passin's pythonesque syntax, using a spec in the Lx syntax
I mentioned here the other day[1], emitting pointy-brackets for the wire.

Separating processors from syntax is why SAX is a Good Thing.

All the best,


[1] I would point to the archive, but it seems to have stopped caring in
    February.  Anyway, it was Monday, I think, and the URL it was banging
    on about was <http://www.astro.gla.ac.uk/users/norman/distrib/lx/>.

Norman Gray                        http://www.astro.gla.ac.uk/users/norman/
Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK     norman@astro.gla.ac.uk


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