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Re: [xml-dev] [OT] Re: [xml-dev] Lessons learned from the XML experiment

On 11/16/13 9:05 AM, David Sheets wrote:
"Refute" was the wrong choice of words, then.  "Refute" usually asks for a
strong demolition, not just a glancing blow.  That was why I made the same
complaint John just did.
If I make an assertion and you respond with "Absolutely not", I expect
you to muster a refutation. If you say "Why do you make this claim?",
I am more than happy to lay out my argument.
Uche did ask such a thing, with "After you." It did not appear to go over well.

In any case, asking for refutation sounds more like a dare than a request for clarification.

I think you meant to say "Can element omission be used to model optional
[data structures]".

"Can", of course.  Well, sort of.  The interesting question isn't "can", but
"is it a good idea?".  There's no general answer to that - it all depends on
what you want to do and in what context.
Is it a better idea than using the string "null"? Other solutions
include special attributes or a distinct element. Are there still more
that are simple to express in XML the Syntax?

Does XML lack something that would make using the command string
"null" preferable to one of these other options in some context?
Is this a Zen koan exercise? There is no general answer. The only answers exist in specific contexts people create.

Simon St.Laurent

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