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RE: [xml-dev] Wikipedia on XML

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim.Bray@Sun.COM [mailto:Tim.Bray@Sun.COM] 
Sent: Saturday, August 08, 2009 10:47 AM
To: Michael Kay
Cc: 'Michael Ludwig'; 'XML Developers List'
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Wikipedia on XML

On Aug 8, 2009, at 2:09 AM, Michael Kay wrote:

> Surely syntax is just one part of language?
> * The syntax says you are allowed to write <A>XYZ</A>.
> * The semantics (dare I use the term?) says that when you do so, you  
> have
> uttered an element whose name is A and whose content is XYZ.

How's this: The Extensible Markup Language (XML) specification defines  
the syntax rules for a family of markup languages loosely referred to  
as "XML", as well as a system for declaring the selection and ordering  
of the markup elements which may appear in a particular markup  
language which is a member of the family.
[<JT>] Not sure I fully "get it" but here goes (most humbly). 
Second half of sentence after comma could be collapsed into first half and
removed.  As well, the Wikipedia entry is not titled the XML Specification
but rather "XML".  
[<JT>] How about: The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a set of  
general syntax guidelines and mechanisms used to define any number of
specific markup languages.  XML is described formally by a World Wide Web
Consortium recommendation available at www.w3c.org/tr...  
The specific markup languages that comply with XML will, in turn, typically
have instances of data.
For example, a very simple Invoice markup language could have an instance
such as:

   <customerName>Fred Smith</customerName> 

It is common to say this markup *is* XML, but it is more precise to say it
is one of many possible markup languages that complies with XML. 
The example above contains an outer element tag with the name invoice with
child elements whose names are date and customerName.  Note, this use of
element tags complies with the general rules of XML.  On the other hand,
using tag names like "invoice", "date" and "customerName" are part of the
specific Invoice Markup Language we have created here.  Furthermore, the
data, such as "2001-12-12T12:34:10Z", is specific to this instance of an
invoice with other instances of invoice likely, themselves having their own

At this point, for the lazy readers, you have relayed alot with the example
placed in their minds.  Is this entirely heretical?

I think that's accurate but it feels kind of long and klunky.  Anyone  
got any polish to apply? -T


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