Re: Adding implicit string values

Thanks - that was what I was going for with the analogy, together with the idea that doing something in camera is somehow more faithful, more simple.

I agree that we should be wary of adding too much visible mechanism.  I don't want to see ixml repurposed as a general tree to tree transformation language, in particular - we have one of those!

I do think, though, that it is implicit in the idea of ixml that for any hierarchic data structure there are a number of representations, including XML and non-XML instances.  We have been concerned primarily with identifying non-XML instances in order to represent them as XML; we have also touched on the possibility of an ixml serialiser, which would take an XML instance and represent it in an equivalent non-XML representation.

There may be technical barriers that make it impractical, but I feel we ought at least to aim to ensure that ixml is capable of expressing these relationships for any XML document and an equivalent non-XML representation - and vice versa.  Clearly there must be a limits on what we can define as 'equivalent' - for instance, I don't think that re-ordering of data in either representation should be in scope (with the possible exception of some attribute data).  But fundamental XML features like namespaces are, I feel, a reasonable expectation.

Implicit values like this might be more of a stretch, but it seems desirable to me that a non-XML markup document like:
> quote_type
> *this*

should be interpreted with corresponding grammars to either of the following representations using iXML:
> quote_type
> <html:span class="emphasis">this</html:span>
> <i>this</i>

since (to quote Steven's introduction) "the underlying abstractions are the same."


Tomos Hillman
eXpertML Ltd
+44 7793 242058
On 13 Apr 2021, 18:57 +0100, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen <>, wrote:
> I like the in-camera, in-darkroom analogy, in part because it allows for situations in which there are tradeoffs. At this point, Steven may be fearing that everyone is wanting to take a beautiful, minimal design and add bells and whistles to it that will ruin its simplicity, so I will say explicitly that a lot of the beauty of ixml is in the extremely high power-to-mechanism ratio, and we should be very wary of adding too much visible mechanism.

Received on Thursday, 15 April 2021 10:02:35 UTC