W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > December 1996

Re: comments

From: <lee@sq.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 96 14:30:30 EST
Message-Id: <9612121930.AA20199@sqrex.sq.com>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
I agree with David Durand's comments on comments completely, with one
 small exception:
>    The issues of syntactic simplicity and compatibility with the style of
> almost all modern programming languages argue strongly for a single comment
> start and comment end string. <!-- and --> are already used that way by
> most people, so should remain.

In fact, "most people" don't use computers at all :-), and there is not
yet a large community of XML users.  XML comments can be whatever we say
they are.  EMPTY element syntax and PI syntax is already different from
SGML, and OMITTAG NO means XML files look nothing like most HTML files.
I don't see this as a problem at all.

I have come to think that if (as David said) a comment is equivalent to a
space, it would be possible to explain that comments can only appear
between <! and the corresponding >, and hence SGML-style comments could
be explained easily.  In that case, 
	--* ... *--
would work fine, with <!--* comment *-->, although admittedly it's rather a
lot of syntax for a comment.

Martin said why not use **, which would allow the usual programming-language
style (PL/1, C, Java etc) of
as long as you always had a multiple of 4 stars, but I'd really rather not
explain that restriction!

I think we should ask for separate start & end comment delimiters,
and use them.

David also said:
>   I would rather that the syntax were also described in two levels to make
> this strategy more self-evident, but as longs as it's possible, I think we
> are OK.
and I agree.

Received on Thursday, 12 December 1996 14:35:12 UTC

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