Re: Syntactic variability

I'm OK with the syntactic variability, although I will note having the same issues, particularly with `;`.

I would be happy with standardising our own usage on '=' and '|'.

I think the issues with ambiguity with colons in nonterminal names is resolved well enough with mandatory whitespace after the rule separator.

I don't think removing these alternatives is a necessary change, then.  But I could live with it.

Tomos Hillman
eXpertML Ltd
+44 7793 242058
On 18 Apr 2022, 10:27 +0100, Norm Tovey-Walsh <>, wrote:
> Hello,
> I’ve been toying with creating an issue for these ideas, but we need to
> be reducing the number of issues at this point, not increasing them, so
> I keep talking myself out of it.
> There is unnecessary syntactic variability in ixml that I don’t really
> understand. We allow either “:” or “=” as a rule separator and we allow
> either “;” or “|” as a alternative separator.
> I don’t think we’re doing our users a service this way. I’m prepared to
> believe that there are users who favor “:” and “;” over “=” and “|” (and
> perhaps even other pairings) but I have a hard time believing that it
> would be make-or-break deal for anyone: “I love the idea of ixml, but I
> refuse to use “=” and “|” so I’m not going to use it.”
> I tend to use, and perhaps even prefer “:” and “;”, but I propose that
> we adopt “=” and “|” exclusively.
> Using “=” would eliminate the ambiguity caused by colons in nonterminal
> names, whether we adopt a proposal to allow that for version 1.0 or
> v.Next.
> Using “|” would reduce the syntactic similarity of “sequence” from
> “alternate”. On several occasions, I have used “,” where I meant “;” and
> it’s hard to see. I don’t think I would be as likely to use “,” where I
> meant “|” and if I did, it would be easier to see the difference. This
> is especially the case in character classes, where I’m drawn to
> [',', '.'] instead of [','; '.']. I’d be better off with [',' | '.']
> Be seeing you,
> norm
> --
> Norm Tovey-Walsh
> Saxonica

Received on Tuesday, 19 April 2022 12:07:33 UTC