Scripting and XML

Simon St.Laurent SimonStL at
Mon Oct 20 06:01:19 BST 1997

It seems like the complexities of SGML that XML stripped away are still 
haunting XML.  

>The CDATA idea does work for what it is intended to be used for.
>Text with no subelements, entity references or other markup. 

>In default SGML, a CDATA element's data is terminated by "</" 
>followed by any valid name start character (or the end of the
>entity). In XML, there is no name-start checking and every 
>start-tag must have a corresponding end-tag.

Excellent.  Now we know what the SGML developers were thinking - now we just 
need to figure out why this is relevant to XML.  Why is it so difficult to 
create CDATA elements - which have to be marked clearly in XML by start and 
end tags?  There is no need in XML to stop CDATA at just any </ sequence, just 
the </ sequence which turns into the full end tag of the element.  Of course, 
this would probably break compatibility with all my favorite SGML parsers, at 
least if I wrote scripts that used </ at some point.

Oh well.  We'll have to see what all the 'bozos' think of this when they start 
working with it.  I suspect that more than a few will write < as &lt;, > as 
&gt;, and & as &amp;.  Should make for some very readable code.

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer

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