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   Re: [xml-dev] Partyin' like it's 1999

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Robin Berjon wrote:

> Well letting Sean's C14Nish needs on the side, the "humans reading it" 
> part is of some importance ain't it? :) Like you I find RNG much easier 
> to read than RNC. 

Watch out, or John will whack you with his clue-by-four. :-)

> However, on a recent ongoing project I am co-editing a 
> fairly large and modularized RNG with other people, one of whom is using 
> a so-called "XML editor". After his edit passes, the output looks a lot 
> more like a DB dump than anything remotely human usable. Sure it's a 
> tool problem, but most of the current XML tools are pretty bad at 
> supporting XML's textuality properly.

People are pulling in two different directions here. What Sean seems to 
want is complete preservation of the original text down to the level of 
really insignificant stuff like white space inside tags. But if we 
provide that, then it prevents tools from cleaning up the XML enough to 
make it human legible. It doesn't get any uglier but it doesn't get any 
prettier either.

I suspect most XML tools should not change significant white space 
without a human request to do so. It sounds like the XML editor you're 
referring to may be doing just that, though. At the same time, in 
reverse, the tools should add and rearrange the significant white space 
if a human tells the tool to do that.

The serializer/parser combos in most major libraries already act this 
way, at least on the Java platform. XML editors are a pretty poor crop, 
I'll admit, which is why I don't use them.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo@metalab.unc.edu
XML in a Nutshell 3rd Edition Just Published!


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