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Re: Wikipedia on XML

  • From: Michael Ludwig <mlu@as-guides.com>
  • To: XML Developers List <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Fri, 07 Aug 2009 19:14:46 +0200

Re:  Wikipedia on XML
Robert Koberg schrieb:
>> "Tag
>> A markup construct that begins with < and ends with >. Tags come in
>> three flavors: start tags, for example <section>, end tags, for
>> example </section>, and empty-element tags, for example
>> <line-break/>.
>>
>> Element
>> A logical component of a document which either begins with a start
>> tag and ends with an end tag, or consists only of an empty-element
>> tag.

Of course, this goes against what I've learnt on XSL-List. On the
other hand, not every reader can be expected to come from XSL-List.
Historically, XML is syntax first, data models (plural!) second.
(Thanks for this insight, Ken!)

> The only place a start or end tag comes into play is in a SAX style.

Or in a text editor.

> What benefit does defining start and end tags provide? I would say it
> confuses most people, because most people come from the perspective of
> working from a DOM or a transformation language when dealing with XML.

I'd say most people, when first exposed to XML, tend to see a lot of
angle brackets forming tags, rather than trees. So while it's easy for
the expert to see the trees in the tag forests, the novice may have a
different view and doesn't go straight to the arguably most common
abstraction.

I found the best simple explanation to be: XML is a labeled hierarchy.
(Thanks again, Ken!)

-- 
Michael Ludwig


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