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Re: [xml-dev] Random Access XML

On Sat, 2011-02-19 at 23:01 +1100, rjelliffe wrote:
> Another name for simplification which doesn't enable extra capabilities 
>  is "dumbing down". So how could XML be "simplified" in a way that 
>  doesn't dumb it down?
>  Providing the capability to scan an XML document, starting at any 
>  arbitrary point, and reparsing from that point would open up some 
>  different strategies for using it.

I'm not sure that counts as simplification, but it does count as a

Random access, by the way, was one of the XBC WOrking Group's use cases;
I was sad when they decided to drop it.

I gave a talk at Balisage a year or two ago about changes to my
(ancient) text retrieval package to add some XML support, which included
doing a limited amount of backwards parsing from arbitrary locations.
As I recall, cdata sections were not supportd and comments could not
contain markup. I actually had more difficulties with UTF-8
backwards-parsing and diacritical marks in teh end, as it turned out,
than with XML syntax, once CDATA was removed.

If you want to know where you are in the tree at any location, though,
your best option is probably to pre-process, either adding a separate
index or adding attributes to indicate location.


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/

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