A little wish for short end tags (Was: RE: SDD bogus)

Paul Prescod papresco at technologist.com
Wed May 13 13:55:09 BST 1998

> Bryan Gilbert wrote:
> >
> >         Yes don't forget that XML is meant
> > for Humans too.  Short end tags are a pain
> > when there is lots of intermediate text.

james anderson wrote:
> maybe i've been writing lisp too long, and i've even come to trust my text
> editor's ability to balance parens, but even before the days of emacs and co.,
> reading (and indenting, if need be) for balancing became second nature.

I think that even more important than this argument is that nobody is
proposing mandatory short end tags. XML with optional short end tags
offers the advantages of languages with uniform, short end markers but
also allows you to "be redundant" where that will help. I've proposed in
the past that full SGML should take optional redundancy farther to allow
something like this:

   </DIV ID=WHY>

> they both depend on state. and although i would suggest, off the top 
> of my head, that the amount of state required for short end tags is 
> less than that required for short start tags, that all depends on 
> the storage semantics implicit in ones xml parser/processor.

I do not believe that there is any way ot implementat a legal XML parser
without keeping around all of the information required to implement
short end tags. Checking that an end-tag matches its start-tag (the
current situation) is no easier than not checking.

 Paul Prescod  - http://itrc.uwaterloo.ca/~papresco

Can we afford to feed that army, 
 while so many children are naked and hungry?
Can we afford to remain passive, 
 while that soldier-army is growing so massive?
  - "Gabby" Barbadian Calpysonian in "Boots"

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