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RE: RE: Formatting Processing Instructions

  • From: "Len Bullard" <Len.Bullard@ses-i.com>
  • To: "Rick Jelliffe" <rjelliffe@allette.com.au>,<xml-dev@l...>
  • Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2012 09:28:11 -0600

RE:  RE: Formatting Processing Instructions
Rick sayeth:  "what PIs allow is a separation of concerns that reduces
coordination effort"

I opened an IADS document recently and discovered that in contrast to
the fairly clean element/attribute coding of twenty years ago, it
contained all processing instructions.  I didn't investigate further but
it made me think that Greg Geis finally tired of the SGML/XML wrangling
and commiteeizing, freaked out and went with the one bit of markup that
no one can argue about very well because they are invisible to the
committee members taught to never look at them.

Whatever else can be said about PIs, they aren't used for sharable
items, and therefore, aren't arguable outside the local cube farm.


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Jelliffe [mailto:rjelliffe@allette.com.au] 
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2012 4:54 PM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re:  RE: Formatting Processing Instructions

We had a different use of PIs.

We are testing transformations, and so we could that the output has
the same number of text nodes as the input.  But the output untags
many pieces of text.  So we replaced stripped tags with PIs, thus
maintaining the text node boundaries and allowing the count.

We could also use XML comments for this, but IIRC we use comments for
other things.  So we could use XML comments and then add some
signature string at the start of the comment value to distinguish the
different kinds of comments. But why go to the trouble when XML
already provides a second kind of free tag (i,e, PIs).

I guess from a software engineering perspective, what PIs allow is a
separation of concerns  that reduces coordination effort:  in the case
above, we have a thorough but heavyweight schema development regime,
so the requirements of testers could be accommodated by developers
without needing to go to back to analysts and schema developers nor
forward to presentation developers.



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