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Re: simplifying comments in SGML '97

From: Joe English <jenglish@crl.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 16:51:01 -0800
Message-Id: <199612120051.AA05275@mail.crl.com>
To: W3C SGML Working Group <w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org>

Michael Sperberg-McQueen <U35395@UICVM.UIC.EDU> wrote:

> The problem is that there seem to be at least two ways of approaching
> the problem, and it's not clear which is preferable.  Your opinions,
> please.
> 
> A.  The Simple Comment

This would introduce another case of feature-dependent syntax
in SGML, which is an unmitigated evil.  

See <URL:http://www.naggum.no/~erik/sgml/against.html> for
a long discussion of the hazards of feature-dependent syntax...
In particular, this scheme would make it impossible (in the general 
case) to combine two text entities if one was written with SIMPLEC YES 
and the other was written with SIMPLEC NO; there is no way to create a
"greatest common denominator" SGML declaration that makes both comment 
syntaxes legal.

Also, this scheme would make COM a delimiter-in-context instead
of a plain delimiter inside COM declarations, and SGML certainly
doesn't need any more D-I-Cs.


> B.  Splitting the com delimiter.

This is a much better solution.  (IMHO having distinct COMO and COMC
delimiters would be a good idea in any case, even without regard to XML.)


--Joe English

  jenglish@crl.com
Received on Wednesday, 11 December 1996 19:50:51 EST

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