Do I need to use a validating parser?

Rick Jelliffe ricko at
Thu May 6 18:10:50 BST 1999

From: Joshua E. Smith <jesmith at>

 >My language isn't anything like LISP or ALGOL, but I think this gets
>point across.  It's pretty easy to write programming languages which

>From one point of view, all interaction actions with a computer
corresponds to "programming" in a language (in that a grammar, however
complicated, can be constructed to model it: I suppose this is an
implication of Church's Thesis).  While true, that viewpoint deprives
"programming" of its specific meaning; it makes "programming
language"=="markup language"=="interaction modeling language".  It
ignores that a markup language is designed to be data with processing
instructions embedded, while a programming language is processing
instuctions with data embedded.

Of course, there are middle grounds: there are data-ish programming
languages such as LISP, and programmish DTDs such as ISMID.

If you are looking at making programming languages in XML, look at
ISMID, which is a compiled format for IETMS (Interactive Electronic
Technical Manuals).
You can see it at the US Navy site ( or (better) at the ISO
then go "documents" then search for "MID" (remember to click the "Search
by title" button") then clock on document 7, "Revised Text of MID".

Rick Jelliffe

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