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Re: PIFLE (was Re: Are PIs useful?)

From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 19:15:59 -0400
Message-ID: <337A47AF.8FB8C2AC@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Rick Jelliffe wrote:
> One reason PIs are not as useful as they should be is because they do not
> have any standard syntax.  So they languish as second-class SGML markup;
> they insert unportable syntaxes inside SGML documents, and vendors and
> users have to write proprietary parsing routines.  Which means elements
> must be used to do the job of any generic processing instructions.

On the one hand there are the PI objectors who want to do away with them
altogether. They advise that they should almost never be used. On the
other, there are those who want to make them easier to use, so that they
can get more use.

I don't know what I would have thought about PIs when they were being
designed but now I think that SGML has struck the right balance. They
are hard enough that they will seldom be used but there if they are
needed, as in XML. I *would* support a more formal notation syntax for
PIs to avoid namespace pollution, but I *would not* support a fixed
syntax to make them easier to parse. Let the applications specify the
syntax (beyond the notation declaration). If it encourages people to
avoid them, great!

 Paul Prescod
Received on Wednesday, 14 May 1997 19:19:47 UTC

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