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   RE: [xml-dev] Readable syntaxes (was: XUL Compact Syntax Study NowOnline

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On Wed, 21 Apr 2004, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> The case
> for alternative syntaxes is weaker if all they do
> is enable faster typing in an ASCII editor.  Then
> they are just more stuff.

But it's not about _faster_[1], it's about writing correct code.

As Pete said:
> But IME the power in a representation of data is in the
> patterns it allows the user to observe and create, not the amount of
> compression it supports (though compression brings features spacially closer
> together so pattern mining becomes easier).

And as Bob said (again):

> If on the other hand, you mean that because notation is important as a
> vehicle for thought syntax should be tailored to be appropriate to the
> application and the intended audience, then I would heartily agree.
> Syntax is not trivial.

We don't need to go back to the language-and-thought thread of a few
months ago, in order to agree that how programming languages look is
important.  A language that is hard to read is hard to write, and that's
as true of XSLT-in-XML as it is of anything else.

Thus this discussion isn't about _compact_ syntax, but (human) _readable_
syntax.  I've adjusted the thread subject accordingly, since we're not
really talking about XUL any more.

All the best,


[1] Someone whose programming speed is limited by their typing speed
    needs to be using a higher-level language.  Or a tool.

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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