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Shortrefs fatally flawed



   I just realized that we are seriously hosed if we endorse the use of
shortrefs and some pseudo-element to implement an SGML-compatible a quoting
syntax for XML. Say, we define a pseudo element <pe>, for the sake of
argument. Now we need to document a restriction that no element may be
called <pe>, or else we will generate a terribly wrong ESIS. We are also
likely to make the process of creating content models extremely difficult,
due to the name conflict, and content model cooking required in the
conversion to an SGML DTD.

    If we avoid this by making the <pe> element visible in the XML
application stream, then we need to explain the special case of '"' serving
as a tag delimiter. This is bad for two reasons:
  1. It complicates the user model a lot.
  2. People will then wonder why they can't define their _own_ abbreviations.

   -- David

RE delenda est.

--------------------------------------------+--------------------------
David Durand                  dgd@cs.bu.edu | david@dynamicDiagrams.com
Boston University Computer Science          | Dynamic Diagrams
http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/dgd/    | http://dynamicDiagrams.com/