XML-Data: advantages over DTD syntax? (and some wishes)
Bruce T. Smith
smith at Adobe.COM
Thu Oct 2 20:51:35 BST 1997
At 09:12 PM 10/1/97 -0500, len bullard wrote:
>Paul Prescod wrote:
>>> Jarle Stabell wrote:
>> > I assume most people today won't edit DTDs (either today's version or
>> > XML-Data or similar versions) in the "raw" text format. They will of
>> > course use tools, visualizing the hierarchy (XML-Data's
>> > extends/implements), selecting values from comboboxes etc.
>> If this is the case then the syntax is irrelevant for those people and
>> they are thus not relevant to the discussion of syntax.
>I also have to add that in all of the years I have done this
>sort of work, the argument that "they won't edit this by hand"
>is the first one to fall apart as soon as the spec is released.
>Editors follow slowly and even when they do, the ability to
>"hack the ASCII" is a capability you should defend with your
>last breath. This was an argument presented for VRML as
>well (by Gavin Bell, as a matter of fact). Truth is, we
>use the editors for construction of complex objects, yes,
>but we typically debug in ASCII with line numbers.
I think Len's reaction is a bit extreme. I may debug in ASCII with line
numbers, but I don't edit with ed or EDLIN. If I wanted to hack lots of
HTML or SGML or VRML with a text editor, I'd choose emacs or some other
editor that was aware of syntactic structures.
There's a big difference between saying that syntax doesn't have to be
convenient to type in a dumb editor and abandoning ASCII altogether. It
looked to me like Jarle was just making the former claim.
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