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The 'XML Way' is to express the grammar of your language at the
element and attribute level, not the character sequence level.
There are a range of technologies intended to do this, including DTDs,
W3C XML Schemas, Relax NG and Schematron. I'd encourage you to have a
look at these, rather than hacking at the character level.
Apologies in advance if I've misunderstood your question.
Henry S. Thompson, HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh
Half-time member of W3C Team
2 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
Fax: (44) 131 650-4587, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
[mail really from me _always_ has this .sig -- mail without it is forged spam]