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

From: Bert Bos <bbos@mygale.inria.fr>
Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 14:59:56 +0200 (MET DST)
Message-Id: <199705151259.OAA13766@mygale.inria.fr>
To: <w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org>

Maybe depite appearances :-) I *do* check the back-issues of this
mailing list on a regular basis. About PIs I've found only arguments
against, except for Rick Jelliffe's PIFLE, which is very
interesting. I've found three types of reactions:

   1. "I don't use PIs myself and I recommend everybody not to use
      them" (most people)

   2. "PIs have no place in XML" (e.g., Charles Goldfarb: "In fact,
      XML should forbid PIs anywhere in the document instance
      regardless of RE handling. The style sheet should handle all
      processing."
      <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-sgml-wg/msg01643.html>)

   3. Rick Jelliffe's PIFLE: "... So a PI looks more like an element
      start-tag"

I think Rick has identified the problem correctly, and has given half
the solution. Just one step further and PIs *are* elements.

If you have

    <?my-info foo="bar" q="8"?>

why not change it to

    <my-info foo="bar" q="8"/>

Is there any difference in what a parser hands to the application? In
one case the application gets this:

    (type:PI, target:my-info, foo:bar, q:8)

in the other it gets this

    (type:starttag, gi:my-info foo:bar, q:8)

In my programs, the latter is actually easier to deal with, since it
means there is one less case in every switch statement, and one less
subclass of the Node superclass.

So how is it possible that PIs are still in the draft? I think that
all the people that said "I don't use them..."  thought that there
actually were other people that did. And nobody asked for a show of
hands.



Bert
-- 
  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C ) http://www.w3.org/
  http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/People/Bos/                      INRIA/W3C
  bert@w3.org                             2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 4 93 65 77 71               06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Thursday, 15 May 1997 09:00:14 EDT

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