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Readability (was: Fixing what's broke)

  • From: Norman Gray <norman@astro.gla.ac.uk>
  • To: Dimitre Novatchev <dnovatchev@gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2010 17:54:38 +0000

Readability (was: Fixing what's broke)

Dmitre, hello.

On 2010 Dec 12, at 16:21, Dimitre Novatchev wrote:

>> ;; The XSLT identity transformation
>> (lx:namespace ((#f "http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform"))
>> (stylesheet version: 1.0
>>   (template match: "node()|@*"
>>     (copy
>>       (apply-templates select: "@*|node()")))))
>> This would be hideous for document-centric markup, but is excellent for those cases -- XSLT is a fine example -- where there's more markup than text.  It becomes valuable simply because you can see more of the content on the screen at once.


> The only thing that is seen at once is the large number of closing
> brackets and that it is impossible to say if this is syntactically
> correct at all (how much time should I spend counting  left and right
> brakets?

I expect you to spend zero time counting brackets -- that's what computers are for.  Even vi can do bracket matching, and I imagine that most folk are using editors significantly more functional than that.

I'm not suggesting this as a NextXML syntax -- simply that the discussion in this subthread seemed to have drifted towards compact syntaxes, and it seemed time for another outing for Lx.  Also, one of the motivations for the perennial suggestions of compact syntaxes (and I think the only good one) is that they're easier to read.  This is one reason why people enthuse about Relax, and no-one ever gets excited by XSchema.

[XML's wonderful, and all that; but readable?  Urgh -- only with a debugging hat on.]

I agree that </> isn't worth bothering with.

All the best,


Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk

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