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Re: [xml-dev] How to avoid using a microsyntax in an attribute value?

Hi Roger,

You could use the established microsyntax of XPath, for ex.:

<xs:element name="dialog" type="xs:string" f:apply-to-text="replace(., 'large', 'small')" />

If you go for separate attributes, then, depending on the number of distinct operations that you anticipate, you might need to declare many different attributes, such as f:replace-from="large" and f:replace-to="small", and some of these attributes might be mutually exclusive, necessitating a microgrammar for your XSD extensions ;)

XPath, at least, lends itself well to subsequent XSLT code generation:
<xsl:template match="dialog/text()">
<xsl:value-of select="replace(., 'large', 'small')"/>

It will become more complicated though if the text to be replaced is allowed to stretch across markup boundaries, but this cannot be alleviated no matter how cleverly you design the extension attributes.


On 23.06.2020 19:46, Roger L Costello wrote:
Hi Folks,

I am creating a new language that will sit on top of the XML Schema language. That is, I am creating a set of attributes that will be inserted as foreign attributes into XML Schemas. The foreign attributes will be placed on element declarations. The foreign attributes are bound to the XYZ namespace:


<xs:element name="dialog" type="xs:string" f:name="value" />

I want to create an attribute (or perhaps several attributes) that has this meaning:

	If the XML element in the instance
  	document contains the string ____,
   	then replace that string with ____.

For example, consider this <dialog> element:

	<dialog>That is a large mountain</dialog>

I want to substitute large with small.

Here is my initial thinking on how to express that:

<xs:element name="dialog" type="xs:string" f:substitute-A-with-B="A=large;B=small" />

You can see that I named the attribute "substitute-A-with-B" and its value is an encoding of the thing to be substituted (large) and the thing that is to replace it (small).


I've created a microsyntax within the XML syntax.

I remember, long ago, Michael Kay advising people to avoid creating microsyntaxes.

That said, I rather dislike the idea of using two attributes to express substitution.

Is it possible to express substitution with one just attribute, without using a microsyntax?

What do you recommend?


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