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Re: [xml-dev] MicroASCII proposal

This is an interesting proposal Rick.  While I've no use for it myself, I 
recognise that I don't represent every programmer, and if someone like you 
finds it useful, there are likely to be many others that would also find it 

I would suggest that you make MicroASCII a pure subset of full ASCII though. 
That way, if someone initially doesn't need the full power of ASCII, they 
can migrate to it later if they find the need without having to re-work and 
potentially introduce lots of bugs.  Thus I would resist the urge to include 
the extra NEL characters however attractive it appears to be.

So what do I see as the benefits of MicroASCII?  Well, as with any Micro??? 
format (as opposed to a 2.0 format) I can see that a MicroASCII could be a 
useful starting point for people who want to learn how to use ASCII in their 
systems, but don't need all the bells and whistles.  Learning to use a 
recognised subset like MicroASCII well will hopefully give them a strong 
grounding in how to make the most of full ASCII later.  Developers would 
also find it much easier to support MicroASCII so there would be a wider 
diversity of options available on the net for developers to chose from.  In 
time such MicroASCII implementations may develop into full ASCII 
implementations, and so developers would eventually have a much wider choice 
of full ASCII implementations also.

Maybe it should be called 80/20ASCII along with 80/20XML and so on!

Good luck,

Pete Cordell
Codalogic Ltd
Interface XML to C++ the easy way using C++ XML
data binding to convert XSD schemas to C++ classes.
Visit http://codalogic.com/lmx/ or http://www.xml2cpp.com
for more info
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "rjelliffe" <rjelliffe@allette.com.au>
To: <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2011 7:36 AM
Subject: [xml-dev] MicroASCII proposal

> One of the major complications in software is that there are simply too 
> many characters. Think of how many hours (and reputations!) are lossed due 
> to spelling errors, how many bugs due to typos, and the extra parsing 
> costs. We need to move XML (and computing) away from this unfortunate 
> legacy which are really just niche publishing "requirements" and which 
> made SGML ultimately fail.
> In order to do this, I am proposing MicroASCII. This would restore ASCII 
> to its Latin essentials and reduce the insane repeats. Syntactical sugar 
> such as K, Y and Z are no-brainers of course: I doubt that anyone will 
> really miss them. But more recent fads such J, W and U are better off 
> treated as presentation forms and taken care of by another layer: ASCII 
> violates this basic separation of concerns. Indeed, the whole lower-case 
> is redundant.
> What about internationalization? Well, we often think that 
> internationalization requires *more* features than any one alphabet could 
> get away with, but it ain't necessarily so. Lets say we support Hebrew and 
> the other semitic languages, and use letters for digits. We can then get 
> rid of the hindu digits from ASCII too.
> We can learn from the world of computing too. In LISP S-expressions, the 
> parenthesis is all that is needed for grouping. So out goes {} and []. We 
> don't need the control characters either. With all this, we should be able 
> to get to 32 (2^5) characters: MicroASCII will have 1/8 the number of code 
> points taken up by usual ASCII bytes and therefore be 8 times faster to 
> parse and 8 times simpler to understand! This is enough of a speed up that 
> Moore's law can be restarted, at least for a year or two.  Mobile phone 
> keyboards will be simplified.
> The other advantage is that it frees up many code points in the byte that 
> can be used for other purposes, such as sending around strings of nulls 
> and nils, which the database community has a voracious appetite for. We 
> could dedicate the whole of the codespace 0x90 -0xFF to different kinds of 
> nulls and nils and NELs.
> If someone did want other characters, I suppose we could insert them using 
> a convenient URL, such as
>  (-!http://www.unicode.org/tables/Unicode5.0/ampersand!-)
> Cheers
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