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Re: Stupid NET Tricks



At 01:28 AM 15/9/96 +0100, William D. Lindsey wrote:

>Define NET such that it is a right-hand side of a commonly
>recognized character pair. For instance "]", ">", "}" or ")".
...
> SHORTREF must be disabled,
>along with OMITTAG and CONCUR.
> 
>  	   NET   ")"
>	   STAGO "((" 
>  	   ETAGO "(/"
>	   TAGC  ")/)"    <!-- needs two close parens, but must be
>			       lexically distinct from two NETs -->
...
> ((again) We can still use un-minimized end tags. (/again)/)

Note that the above example is incorrect if you use TAGC on start-tags as
well as end-tags, because it should read:

((again)/) We can still use un-minimized end tags. (/again)/)

The following presumes, therefore, that you were working on the earlier
concept of separating the delimiters at the end of start and end-tags (which
seems to be generally agreed as the right way to go on this list).

When I first saw this proposal (immediately after getting out of bed) I
thought "Great, now I can easily distinguish XML from SGML, and make it
easier for people to check nesting". Then I had breakfast! (I'm one of these
people who wakes up after breakfast!) Then it dawned on me - I can't write
is Scheme!

To see why not (if the last paragraph has not already shown you) consider
the following extension to the above example:

> ((again) We can still use un-minimized end tags (aka ((cite)ISO 8879:1986
...... (SGML)(/cite)/). (/again)/)

I, for one, am not using &lpar; and &rpar; all over the place!
I might consider:

[[again]We can still use un-minimized end tags (aka [[cite]ISO 8879:1986
.... (SGML)[/cite]/]).[/again]/]

but would prefer:

<<again>We can still use un-minimized end tags (aka <<cite>ISO 8879:1986
....(SGML)</cite>/>).</again>/>

The problem I have with this last version, however, is that it is not
obvious that the angle brackets form nestable sets in the way it is with the
parentheses. (The square brackets seem to fall half-way between an obvious
nesting and no obvious nesting.)

The last alternative,

{{again}We can still use un-minimized end tags (aka {{cite}ISO 8879:1986
..... (SGML){/cite}/}.{/again}/}

appeals to me less, but is a distinct possibility in English, though I have
some doubts about its acceptability in other languages, where curly braces
are much more common..

Martin Bryan
----
Martin Bryan, The SGML Centre, Churchdown, Glos. GL3 2PU, UK 
Phone/Fax: +44 1452 714029   WWW home page: http://www.u-net.com/~sgml/



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