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Re: [xml-dev] MicroASCII proposal

Is this "reductio ad absurdum" spoken in jest on MicroXPath, etc?

I guess the Micro-ing of almost everything 'XML' and beyond does
make some sense for people implementing MicroXML wish to
know what else they can implement as part of a related micro-culture
more easily than if they had implemented full XML. Can they chop
out implementation requirements in XSD/validation, XPath, XSLT,
etc? I would think such people would already have a full
implementation of ASCII before they started.

Stephen D Green

On 13 January 2011 07:36, rjelliffe <rjelliffe@allette.com.au> wrote:
> 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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