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Rick Marshall wrote:
> while not "every damn fool" can write a c etc compiler, it's certainly
> well within the capabilities of a comp science undergrad (and in fact
> part of the course in many places - or similar). but a compiler is more
> than a parser and here we're simply talking the difficulty of parsing
> xml - let alone doing anything with it.
Good point about the difference between compiling and merely parsing.
Still in my limited experience (one university, but a relatively
prestigious one) graduate students did not write a C compiler as part of
their compiler course, much less undergraduates. They wrote a compiler
for a stripped down language that looked like C but wasn't because all
the difficult bits had been pulled out. I don't want to see a lot of de
facto XML subsets in every other program. Making a parser simple enough
that a lot of people *think* they can write one quickly is asking for
Note I don't doubt that writing an XML parser is well within the
capabilities of many hundreds of thousands of programmers. I just doubt
that a programmer who is not fully focused on XML will write a correct
parser, even if the language is simplified. Furthermore, I do not think
it is in their interests to do so, compared to whatever other jobs they
have to accomplish. It's better for everyone if they just use the
available, high quality off-the-shelf parsers.
Elliotte Rusty Harold email@example.com
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