Do I need to use a validating parser?

Paul Prescod paul at
Wed May 5 00:30:13 BST 1999

"Joshua E. Smith" wrote:
> My language doesn't use constructs like "if-then" or "for-next" so the user
> wouldn't be exposed to any nasty parse trees anyway; but even if it did, I
> don't know that
> <for var="i" from="0" to="100">
>   stuff
> </for>

A couple of questions: How much syntax does a variable refrence take? What
does a function call look like? I'm trying to determine how much you are
actually building on the XML parser and how much you intend to do

> I'm assuming that most programmers will not
> actually write in the markup language, but rather will use editors which
> produce markup as their output.  If you think about it, that's what's
> already happening with tools like Access or Delphi (users work in an
> editor, and for the most part, don't touch the code).

I don't think that Access dialog building is programming. Real
programmers, developing their own algorithms and interfaces will likely
find any non-textual programming user interface to be an impediment.
Delphi and Visual Basic have pretty decent text editors built in -- for a

I encourage you to design the user interface before focusing on the syntax
of your markup language. If people like the user interface then the
behind-the-scenes XML issues will be comparatively trivial. But if
programmers hate the user interface then the XML part will become

My experience is that XML editors are optimized for prose documents and
are poor for most other stuff. They aren't ideal user interfaces for
databases, programming languages, schemas etc.

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

The first three Noble Truths of Python:
  All that is not Python is suffering.
  The origin of suffering lies in the use of not-Python.
  The cessation of suffering can be achieved by not using not-Python.

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