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

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

> So syntax is not trivial?

Arghhh, I can't remember any longer.

I think I'm arguing both that it is and that it isn't (clearly, in
another life I was a theologian).

It's trivial in that what really does the work is the thing the syntax
is turned into -- be it SAX stream, Infoset, grove, parse-tree, chip
mask(!) -- and what that was converted _from_ doesn't matter at that
level.  So you can make your own choice and the processor doesn't have
to care.

It's non-trivial in the sense that what's on the screen does matter when
you're trying to debug why the parsed thing doesn't work.

[add suitable qualifications to all of that]

So syntax is desparately non-trivial; but because it's also trivial,
that's OK.  I think. (clearly, it wasn't one of the more accessible

The short version: the slogan `syntax is (not) trivial' means too many
different things to be useful.



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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