W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > December 1996

Re: RS/RE, again (sorry)

From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 15:13:34 -0500
Message-Id: <1.5.4.32.19961212201334.00a762bc@csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
At 02:09 PM 12/12/96 EST, lee@sq.com wrote:
>Paul Prescod said:
>> But existing DSSSL scripts will break, because they would not expect these
>> pseudo-elements to be significant.
>
>Well, both of the two existing DSSSL style sheets in the world :-) are
>written for SGML DTDs that are not directly XML compatible, so that's
>not a problem.

It isn't really the legacy issue I'm worried about. It is requiring every
new DSSSL script to include code to detect and destroy whitespace that the
author thought (reasonably) was only for pretty-printing. It is even more
than that...it is the idea of having pretty-printing whitespace be something
that is handled by the application *at all*. That's out of whack with most
people's understanding of a parser's job. C++ parsers don't return
"whitespace nodes" between tokens that the C++ "back end" must detect and
delete.

>Furthermore, if you use DSSSL with an SGML parser, you'll get SGML
>whitespace rules.  Since we haven't discussed the use of DSSSL with XML,
>it could do anything it liked...

I don't really understand that point.

>> Every application that is currently based on an SGML parser will
>> get a different parse tree from an XML parser.
>
>Yes.  And that's fine.

Well, that's the XML status quo. I hoped that we could do better. I think it
will be rather annoying to have to know when I code my style sheets whether
the application uses an XML parser or an SGML parser. I might just instruct
authors to avoid whitespace between elements altogether, since it will not
be reliably interpreted (which, I guess, is what some people want).

 Paul Prescod
Received on Thursday, 12 December 1996 15:10:51 EST

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