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Re: some days I'm wrong


relax ng bravenboer
"Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@s...> writes:

> elharo@m... (Elliotte Rusty Harold) writes:
> >For what it's worth I don't think you were wrong. I personally find 
> >the RELAX NG XML syntax *much* easier to read, understand, and write 
> >than the compact syntax. Perhaps that's a function of my relative 
> >unfamiliarity with RELAX NG compared to you, but that's the point of 
> >XML's verboseness, isn't it? It's easier for a non-expert to 
> >understand any given format.
> 
> I think it depends a lot on scale and situation.

One of the promises of XML is "no more small languages". I've just
spent a week worth of evenings reading fvwm*(1) manual pages to figure
out a feature in it config file format. I kept wishing it had been
XML, because most of the time I wasted I spent figuring out the
syntax.

I think it's a function of how much and often you use a format, and
how much of you have to read/write at a time. If I only have to deal
with a file occasionally, lile X configuration, I'd rather it have a
syntax that is immediately obvious, at least on the macro level,
without the aid of a manual. Most configuration files are small enough
languages and most people use them too infrequently to justify their
own syntax.

C, OTOH, is not a small language, and one that people write quite
large "documents" in. Proposals for XML syntax for procedural
languages do pop up occasionally, and are smiled upon.

RELAX NG seems to be on the border between a "small" and a "major"
language, as evidenced by the different preferences you and Rusty
describe.

Ari.


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