RE: A call for reason, another go [SML et al]
I've been following this discussion, and have a few, non-technical points to make (being a philosopher of language/logician I do not qualify for making technical claims). The analogy one could have in mind in trying to decide whether or not to follow the SML-line is quite simple: Given that the important question is whether, and if so, to what degree, XML can model complex information structures successfully (and if SML, a simpler version of XML could do the same job without added complexity), one need only bear in mind that those kind of structures seem to be able to convey meaning when uttered in natural language and heard by a human being. This same level of semantics would be achieved if: (i) XML (or any other markup language) had semantics --in and of itself-- which it of course does not (and this is the key to the entire problem),therefore we have to opt for going for the least incompete *ML (substitute * for a letter of your liking), and (ii) Whether this more or less incomplete *ML can be maximized in order to get as much structure as possible out of it. Given that no *ML is "complete" in the sense mentioned above, we should opt for a high ration of complexity/expressibility If these two are accepted, and the claims made in (ii) are indeed worth of pursuing, I see no point in taking one, fairly standardized *ML, namely XML, and simplifying it to the degree where the cost of losing expressibility clearly overweighs the gains concerning complexity by switching to a simpler *ML, namely SML. I hope I have made my point clear. I'd be glad to receive feedback. Kind regards, D. Dimitriadis -----Original Message----- From: Thomas B. Passin [mailto:tpassin@i...] Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 1999 2:38 PM To: xml-dev@i... Subject: Re: A call for reason Don Park wrote: > ... > Lately, I have been trying to gain a different perspective > by thinking what if SML was here first and XML was actually > SML 2.0? This line of thinking adds a rather interesting > appreciation of attributes. > ... > Don Park I'm starting to like Don's thinking here. What a neat idea! But there is one thing against the notion, which probably is responsible for a lot of the desire for an SML. XML has got some historical baggage. If it were really SML 2.0, SML 1.0 would have had the same baggage. But it seems that the baggage is what people want to eliminate. Entities are an example. You could replace <, &, and the rest with some escape mechanism (like the backslash, I don't mean CDATA), and get rid of all other entity types. That would probably simplify things. But then you aren't a subset of XML anymore. On the other hand, if you omit DTDs, you could still be a subset. I don't sense a consensus on the importance of being a subset of XML, but I don't think things can really go anywhere until this is pretty well settled (to first order, anyway). Look at the number of arguments about attributes that are being posted. The people who actually write parsers have been saying that there is virtually no cost in memory or complexity to having attributes. There's obviously a lot of people who find them useful. I think that anyone who sees an attribute in HTML for the first time understands how to use them and their syntax. It doesn't confuse anything to have attributes. So leave them in and move on! Regards, Tom Passin xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1 To unsubscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; unsubscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...) xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1 To unsubscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; unsubscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
PURCHASE STYLUS STUDIO ONLINE TODAY!
Purchasing Stylus Studio from our online shop is Easy, Secure and Value Priced!
Download The World's Best XML IDE!
Accelerate XML development with our award-winning XML IDE - Download a free trial today!
Subscribe in XML format