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Re: Seduced by Markup

On Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 11:06 AM, <cbullard@hiwaay.net> wrote:

"So the advantage of DTDs is that they are gibberish to all?"

No.  The advantage is almost everything a human needs to read to interpret
them is in one place.   XSD may be richer in types and a parser writer's wet
dream, but as a simple human lookup, it sucks.

Sure, but I wasn't comparing DTDs to XSD at all, but to RNG compact syntax.  It's true that the pieces can be pretty scattered because you can create arbitrary named patterns, but that's actually *less* arbitrary than parameter entities.  The advantage of spreading things out in RNG compact syntax is *so that* you can create better, clearer names, a facility that can obviously be abused.
MODERATO (quit bitching about the key signature and just play it).


When my daughter was taking piano lessons, she wanted to learn some pop piece of the day or other, I've forgotten just what.  So I went across the street to Schirmer's (eheu fugaces!) and bought the sheet music of a piano reduction.  It was *way* beyond her ability to even read the notation, because the timing of modern performance is so ill-matched to the way piano scores are still written.  It's no accident kids are still learning on pre-20th-century stuff: at least you can learn to read it easily.

On the literary side, the reason Milton's syntax in _Paradise Lost_ is so opaque, apparently ("Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste brought death into the world and all our woe with loss of Eden, till one greater man restore us, and regain the blissful seat — sing, heavenly Muse, that on the secret top of Horeb or of Sinai didst inspire that shepherd who first taught the chosen seed in the beginning how the heavens and earth rose out of chaos" is the first sentence!), is that he needs to reconcile three things:

1) Getting the sentences to be correct and grammatical English (the verb is "sing", and it's a command to the Muse).

2) Fitting the meter

3) Getting the sequence of images (disobedience, fruit, tree, death, world, woe, Eden, Jesus, heaven, muse, Mt. Horeb, Mt. Sinai, shepherd, the Jews, Creation, heaven, earth, chaos) in the right order.

Getting all of that right means simplicity and clarity are dropped overboard early.

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

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