XML complexity, namespaces (was WG)
david at megginson.com
Tue Mar 23 02:42:53 GMT 1999
Rick Jelliffe writes:
> From: David Megginson <david at megginson.com
> >SGML does nothing that XML cannot do.
> I don't know how Dave can say that.
>From a system-architecture perspective, my statement is true -- what
we're discussing here are simply implementation details. I agree that
having to use PUA characters rather than special entities is a mild
annoyance (in the past, I have dealt with similar problems trying to
represent specialised characters in early medieval English
manuscripts, including variant graphemes of the same graph).
> In SGML I can short-reference these codepoints to entity which
> points to the appropriate glyphs and which has other data
> attributes to describe character properties.
> In XML, to do this I have to write a special program to simulate
> this behaviour.
In SGML, you have to write a special program to act on the information
in the data attributes (nothing does this out of the box); in XML, you
have to write a special program to act on the PUA.
I'd say that SGML wins a 5.2 out of six 6 on non-canonical characters
(because its approach is slightly more modular and maintainable),
while XML wins a 5.0 (because it still works). But again, you *can*
represent non-canonical characters in both, and the difference is too
trivial to interest anyone but hard-core SGML wonks like Rick and me
-- it certainly wouldn't be worth spending time on at a large
All the best,
David Megginson david at megginson.com
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