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Re: XML-appropriate editing data structures
At 4:28 PM -0700 4/8/04, Jeff Rafter wrote:

>Man of extremes is right. Again I find myself on (what I assume will be) the
>losing side of an argument : ) How can it possibly be argued that they are
>harmful by nature?

Because it is very common to need to create, either temporarily or 
permanently, invalid content. For instance, when I was writing 
Processing XML with Java in DocBook I typed many xinclude:include 
elements that were not provided for by the DocBook DTD.  In other 
cases I've added custom elements and attributes that are not supplied 
by the DTD.

And in other cases, I do want valid markup. I just don't want it yet. 
I'm not ready to fill in everything that's required. For instance, I 
might begin a book by typing out an outline as section titles, 
without actually giving the sections any content, though that is 
ultimately required. But I can probably put together an outline in 
day, even though filling in the content may take a year, as long as 
the editor doesn't keep bugging me about the missing parts.

I've tried editors that attempt to maintain validity. And they're 
just bloody annoying. Even if you want valid markup, they're either 
pestering you with pop-ups; or  filling in what they think you'll add 
and guessing wrong. (There's often more than one possible child 
element that can be added to make a parent element valid.) Bottom 
line: they get in your way. They are not smart enough to figure out 
what needs to be done, but they do something anyway.

   Elliotte Rusty Harold
   Effective XML (Addison-Wesley, 2003)


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