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Re: If XML is too hard for a programmer, perhaps he'd bebetter


Re:  If XML is too hard for a programmer
Tim Bray wrote:
> Dare Obasanjo wrote:
> 
>> The "Desperate Perl Hacker" argument  was a bogus claim for XML 1.0 
>> because of the existence of entities and CDATA sections but is quite 
>> farcical now with the existence of the Namespaces in XML 
>> recommendation (and it's bastard spawn "QNames in content"). 
> 
> 
> Empirically false, at two levels.  First, lots of people process XML 
> with perl (or equivalent) all the time.  Second, the real requirement 
> was to make it tractable to take a large body of document data and make 
> quick programmatic changes on it.  Which, obviously, XML makes way easier.

The requirement as we understood it years ago was that the person would 
be working with regular expressions and _no XML parser_. (otherwise 
syntactic choices like minimization would have been irrelevant)

Dare is right that XML-as-specified was never simple enough that you 
could reliably process XML with Perl 5 regular expressions. On the other 
hand, the XML one tends to receive, tends to be simple enough that it 
works most of the time. You don't want to build a system around it but 
for one-offs on data sitting on a hard drive, it usually works. CDATA 
sections and entities are easy to "grep' for.

  Paul Prescod


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