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Re: SD1 - Short End Tags

From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 14:21:57 -0400
Message-ID: <33809A45.438FE71B@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Andrew Layman wrote:
> If there are no good reasons for short end tags, and we put them in
> anyway, then--and only then--does it begin a slippery slope of putting
> in bad features. But, if short end tags have actual value, and if they
> are different in character from other abbreviations, then there is no
> slippery slope.  

The slippery slope is in putting in abbreviations. The primary
difference between a valid XML documents and a valid SGML documents is
that the XML document has *very few abbreviations*. That isn't a
definitive argument against the feature, but a valid part of one. Our
methodology has always been: "when in doubt, leave it out" especially
when it comes to abbreviations.

> That is, the slippery-slope-syllogism is valid only if
> its major premise (short end tags are bad) is true; else it is just
> circular reasoning. So, let's concentrate on the main argument: Are
> short end tags different in character from OMITTAG, SHORTREF etc.? Do
> they have compelling value for certain applications such as data
> transfer?

OMITTAG and SHORTREF also have compelling value for certain applications
such as data transfer. Using OMITTAG and SHORTREF, your database could
look like this:

<!DOCTYPE FOO ...>
a1|b1|c1|d1
abc2|abc2|abc2|abc2
aa3|bb3|cc3|dd3

That's pretty damn compact! So I think that the burden of proof lies
with those who claim that shorttags are different and will not open the
floodgates for other abbreviations.

 Paul Prescod
Received on Monday, 19 May 1997 15:13:43 UTC

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