Feeler for SML (Simple Markup Language)

David Megginson david at megginson.com
Thu Nov 11 17:45:05 GMT 1999

"Hunter, David" <dhunter at Mobility.com> writes:

> Perhaps from the point of view of a parser writer, this might be a
> good thing.  If you knew you were never going to need these
> constructs, you could build a smaller, faster parser.

Not much smaller, I'm afraid -- for an event-based parser, support for 
PIs and attributes adds almost no overhead (I remember experimenting
with putting them in and leaving them out when I was writing

AElfred, by the way, was under 15K in a compressed JAR file when I was
maintaining it, though it wasn't strictly conformant (it didn't report
all required errors) -- I still believe that someone could write a
Java-based XML parser in under 10K (compressed) if they had the time
and inclination and made more use of the standard Java libraries.

> From the point of view of applications that use XML, however, SML
> would not provide much gain, except perhaps the slight speed
> advantage of using one of these stripped down, souped up parsers; as
> Leigh Dodds pointed out, you could just use XML without the features
> you don't need.


If we were still designing XML, I would be in favour of at least a
good part of Don's list, but now that the deed is done and we've
obviously won (the only debates now are what XML-based languages to
use), we should learn to live with the XML syntax that we have and
concentrate on the higher-level stuff.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at megginson.com

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