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Re: [xml-dev] RE: RDF people, please define "surface syntax" and"concrete syntax"

On 20/02/2012 17:21, Costello, Roger L. wrote:
> Thanks Norman and Frank.
>> As used in these articles, the terms are synonymous
> Okay, good.
> "Surface Syntax" and "concrete syntax" are synonymous.
>> The distinction between abstract and concrete syntaxes comes from programming languages
I think one could safely say that if XML used curly braces instead of 
angle brackets, the abstract syntax would be the same but the 
surface/concrete syntax would be different. One definition might be that 
the BNF productions for non-terminals represent the abstract syntax, and 
the symbols used for terminals supply the concrete syntax. But some 
people might argue that other things are superficial too, for example 
deciding whether the systemId goes before the publicId or after it. One 
could go as far as to say that if the underlying data model is 
unaffected by syntax differences, then the syntax differences are 
"surface" differences.

Michael Kay

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