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Re: [xml-dev] Fixing what's broke

You can use attributes if you find end-tags noise, or another format like JSON.
To me the end tag is crucial for readability, specially if you are
reading up instead of down.
Max Toro

On Sat, Dec 11, 2010 at 12:50 AM, rjelliffe <rjelliffe@allette.com.au> wrote:
> On Fri, 10 Dec 2010 17:06:42 -0300, Max Toro <maxtoroq@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> <trajectory:initialVelocityVarianceCoefficient>1</>
>> What is the value of this change ?
> An explicit end-tag on the same line as its start tag is noise.
> But closing brackets })] far from their open bracket {([ are confusing.
> IDEs and indention can help tame both (greying out end-tags, matching
> brackets). But they are not very reliable.
> But both add to the psychological complexity of reading the text.
> Terseness is good sometimes, but not good other times: XSLT
> trades on this by mixing XPath (a super terse language which
> becomes horrible when you get a lot of parentheses) and XML
> (a bracketed language for the high level constructs where
> start-tags may be screen-scrolls distant from end-tags.)
> People who mainly work with data structures with high fanout
> and deep nesting will find explicit tags better. People who mainly work
> with shallow data structures with low fanout will find brackets and ;
> better.
> So questions about which is absolutely better devolve
> into expectations about whether high fanout/deep nesting is better
> than low-fanout/shallow nesting. Which seems to me to be a question
> so abstract as to be almost meaningless outside specific cases.
> The value of the short end- tag </> is that if it prevents line breaking on
> a screen or printing, you can fit twice as much of the information you are
> interested in. For example, yesterday I printed out a 28 page Schematron
> schema
> I have been working on for my job, for a testing system (where there is
> one phase for each test file, each phase mixing in the patterns expected
> for that test file's results.)  Having a nice pretty-printed version
> is another tool in keeping things organized and being able to look-up
> what is going on: computer text that can be efficiently organized to
> print or render well helps you be a more effective developer. Techniques
> for allowing developer effectiveness is a super important area, but not
> one where we can expect absolute statements like "this feature will always
> allow everyone to be more effective". (In HUI terms, some kinds of terseness
> in markup can act as an "affordance".)
> So what about this then: if the concern is that providing </> would allow
> people to create obscure markup where you would have track back to see
> what the start was (the distant matching bracket problem), and assuming
> it is the job of a markup language design to enforce good practice in the
> first place (hmmm), why not just allow the short end-tag </> to be used
> only on leaf elements?
> So
>   <a>blah</>
> is allowed, but not
>   <a>blah <b/>  blah </>
> Cheers
> Rick Jelliffe
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