Do I need to use a validating parser?

Joshua E. Smith jesmith at
Wed May 5 04:18:56 BST 1999

>I think you are getting confused with your compiler terminology.  The only
>thing that I can see marking up your program using XML helping with is the
>lexing stage i.e. recognising the tokens.  Using a DTD would help with some
>syntax validation but I'm sure there are rules that you would want to
>enforce that can't be expressed in the DTD.  Also think about what sort of
>error messages you want to give back to the programmer and how well your
>proposed solution will handle that.

This is all academic.  When I can show you what this "language" looks like,
you'll laugh that I was calling it "programming" in the first place.

Nonetheless, always up for the academic discussion, you can express the
entire syntax of the LISP programming language in less than a page of DTD,
I bet.  DTD's syntax is almost as expressive as that of XML itself.

>> My language isn't anything like LISP or ALGOL, but I think this gets the
>> point across.  It's pretty easy to write programming languages which are
>> XML-Conformant.
>You might be able to define a language easily but XML isn't going to help
>with the interpretation.

I already have the interpretation done in my own software.  I'm looking for
XML to help with editing, not compiling/interpreting.

>At least using tools like yacc/lex, javac and antlr you can link the grammar
>to what you want to do with the language which aids maintenance.  I agree
>with David, I don't think programming languages marked up using XML is a
>good way to go.  I know people are doing it but it strikes me as a case of a
>man with a hammer thinking everything looks like a nail.

Well, that wouldn't seem to apply here since I didn't know squat about XML
until three days ago when I bought a book.  ;)

It's more a case of I have a tack, and I see this really cool hammer, and I
just need to figure out how to use the hammer on tacks when it was designed
for nails.  Or something like that.... ;)

-Joshua Smith

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