A little wish for short end tags

len bullard cbullard at hiwaay.net
Sun May 17 10:39:46 BST 1998

Jon Bosak wrote:

> SGML gives you the option of using empty end tags, and the
> historical fact is that most large users, given this option and a
> sufficient amount of experience with it, choose not to use it. 

Jon is right.  I found it easier to read when the SGML instances 
were large and the designer used a lot of content types in deeper 
hierachies than one gets used to with HTML.  For DTDs like the 
MIL Content Data Model, or the IADS DTDs where the indexes are 
named types mapped to stylesheet tables, one often wants to 
reach in and grab pieces of the tree easily.  a good editor 
helps, but a lot of people won't have what they really need 
unless some serious price reductions happen in that market.  

Moving elements with highlighting 
is easier with the endtags, ihmo, 
too, because when one hits the end of a 
deep branch, a lot of grouped 
short end tags are hard to count by eye.

sgml:  people always say no one will edit it 
by hand, and almost everyone does. 

len bullard

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