XML-Conformant Programming Languages

Steve Oldmeadow smo at jst.com.au
Fri May 7 06:09:06 BST 1999

----- Original Message -----
From: adam moore <paxamr at unix.ccc.nottingham.ac.uk>
To: Steve Oldmeadow <smo at jst.com.au>
Cc: <xml-dev at ic.ac.uk>
Sent: 06/05/1999 6:34
Subject: Re: XML-Conformant Programming Languages

> On Thu, 6 May 1999, Steve Oldmeadow wrote:

> Surely this is exactly what DTD's can do - 'organize the constructs of a
> language' - and with a DTD and something like Xeena from IBM I think it's
> possible now? (Xeena is an editor that uses a DTD to constrain the authors
> into only writing valid syntax: http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/xeena).

I apologise.  I was expecting too much from the grammar alone but my point
still is a language with out the tools to interpret it is not very useful.
Take writing an XSL processor as an example, does being able to parse an XSL
document into a DOM tree help you with writing an XSL processor?  I don't
think it does.  How useful is XSL without XSL processors?

> > As far as "Visual Programming" environments go (especially for "non
> > programmers") I think it is invaluable to have the ability to step
> > the code and see what is happening which implies an IDE rather than a
> > editor.
> >
> I agree - but to have a tool which ONLY LETS YOU WRITE VALID CODE IN THE
> FIRST PLACE will surely be a big leap up from trying to debug code you
> wrote in a standard editor and then try and find the typo's/missing
> separators/line-breaks/etc.?

I think it has a lot to do with the complexity of the language.  With
Joshua's example of a Lisp program I can certainly see how a DTD constrained
editor would be fine.  However, if someone gave me the DTD for Java and said
I can use Xeena or JBuilder I would choose JBuilder.  I wouldn't even want
to imagine what writing C++ would be like under Xeena!

Steve Oldmeadow

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