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Re: Wikipedia on XML

  • From: Attila <atteeela@gmail.com>
  • To: XML Developers List <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 23:57:07 -0400

Re:  Wikipedia on XML
When we speak of languages here we are not referring to dialog or
things that are pronounceable.

I love Philosophy and all, but I think we should stick to the concept
of language in the computation sense (ie: regular language).

An XML document is a sentence defined by a context-free grammar
consisting of various terminals and non-terminals.
These terminals are characters and non-terminals that express the
relationship between blocks using the special <,> and / characters.

How I might put it:

XML is a set of symbols and rules that provides a standard way to
express tree-like hierarchical relationships for data.

Try to keep it simple and intuitive.  The discussion of regular
languages, grammars and such can be added later on for further

Good luck

On 8/7/09, Michael Ludwig <milu71@gmx.de> wrote:
> Alexander Johannesen schrieb am 08.08.2009 um 09:43:17 (+1000):
>> On Sat, Aug 8, 2009 at 08:39, Michael Ludwig<milu71@gmx.de> wrote:
>> > With the exception of "<!CDATA[" (which, just like the comment
>> > delimiters, looks suspiciously DTD-ish to me), these words can't be
>> > easily pronounced.
>> :) Do you speak any of the thousands of ant languages? Or dolphinese?
>> Or mooish? Or, uh, Klingon? Heck, we don't have to go further than any
>> other programming language out there being damn hard to pronounce.
>> Just because you can't pronounce them does *not* mean it ain't a
>> language.
> As pointed out in my previous reply, it depends on your definition of
> language.
>> > But even if they could, I wouldn't think of them as words. They
>> > arrange parts of sentences, they're a structural skeleton, maybe
>> > not totally dissimilar to punctuation.
>> No, I think they are carriers of semantics in the sense English words
>> differentiate between verbs, subjects, nouns, etc, it's just that the
>> syntax is different. You might say XML is a half-breed between
>> language and syntax.
> If you want to see the angle brackets as a vocabulary, that's fine with
> me. But I find that the look and feel is more like syntax. Both points
> of view could be argued for, maybe one with more ease than the other.
> One man's language, another man's syntax - or meta-language.
> Best,
> Michael Ludwig
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