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Re: [xml-dev] seduced by markup

On Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 11:07 PM, Steve Newcomb <srn@coolheads.com> wrote:

With the greatest respect, John, I see it quite differently.

Evidently you do, but I don't know why.
I propose that our job as priests is not so much to do the singing, as
we generally do.  Instead, it is to help *everyone* sing, thus to enter
into the joy of a more functional, integrated, interdependent and
prosperous community.

I agree.
What you see as elegance, I see as beautifully-wrought art based on the
assumption that a priesthood of parserheads will be the primary users.
It's great for people like us, but it's less comprehensible and less
universally available to everyone else.  Most of humanity, including the
people who are more qualified than we are to make domain-specific
decisions with economic, political and technical consequences, is better
equipped to learn the clunky old DTD syntax.

Is it really easier to understand 

<!ELEMENT level ( (file, ((fileName, fileNumber?) | (fileNumber, fileName?))?)
                 |(fileName, ((file, fileNumber?) | (fileNumber, file)))
                 |(fileNumber, ((file, fileName?) | (fileName, file))) )>

 rather than level = element level { file & fileName? & fileNumber? }, which is the RNC equivalent?

Similarly, governance = element governance { president | king | queen | (king, queen) } is a more natural order than <!ELEMENT country (president | king |(king, queen) | queen)>, but DTDs tolerate only the second order.

Or just try to write down offhand a correct DTD element declaration for an element that must contain three to seven children of the same name.  In RNC it's just element foo { child, child, child, child?, child?, child?, child? }.

Everyone writes documents.  Everyone knows what a telephone number is,
and the local rules for constructing one.  But comparatively few people
know what a data type is, much less the traditional primitive datatypes,
or any but the vaguest notions about relational databases. [...]

I'm not sure what this anti-datatype rant has to do with RNC, which has little (though not nothing) to do with datatypes.  I use RNC/RNG all the time, and rarely use any non-DTD datatypes other than xsd:integer and xsd:anyURI.

GMail doesn't have rotating .sigs, but you can see mine at http://www.ccil.org/~cowan/signatures

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