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

Re: RS/RE: basic questions

From: Gavin Nicol <gtn@ebt.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Oct 1996 09:09:05 -0400
Message-Id: <199610011309.JAA02421@nathaniel.ebt>
To: Charles@sgmlsource.com
CC: dgd@cs.bu.edu, w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
>>So you beg the question in another way. The issue is _why_ we should treat
>>the RE as markup rather than data. Since there is no _requirement_ to
>>include an RE after a tag, why _must_ it not be significant. 
>Because the tag isn't part of the data. Therefore, any RE whose
>presence depends on where a tag is positioned can't possibly be part
>of the data either.  

Which is another way of saying the say thing. How can you know for
certain that the RE depends on the position of the tag, *and* that
that was what the author intended?

>>>This is a paragraph.</p>
>It's not quite as pretty, or as natural, as:
>This is a paragraph.

Subjective opinion.

>3. He decides that the structure would look clearer during editing if
>he put the tags on their own input lines, like this:
>Now is the time for all good men
>to come to the aid of the party.
>In all of these steps, he hasn't changed one character of the
>data. So why should the application see a single RE in step 2 and
>three REs in step 3? The data has only ever had a single RE.

It is equally logical to say that in delimiting a block of character
data the delimiters must be hard agaist the beginning and end of the
block they delimit. For example, using your own example:

1) An author writes the following:

As the thunderous roar of

2) He then decides to mark it up using the FROGLESPECK markup
   language which uses quotes to delimit groups of characters:

"As the thunderous roar of
3) He then decides it'd "look clearer" if the quotes where on lines by

As the thunderous roar of

Would you argue that in FROGLESPECK these should equate to the same
thing, or would you feel that syntax *requires* the quotes to be
exactly at the start and end of each character block. Ask the same of
a LISP programmer, and a C programmer.

There is no *technical* reason for this, though I agree that there may
be aesthetic reasons for it.

I'm starting to think seriously now that XML should just be LISP (I
was half joking before). At least it doesn't confluge syntax and
semantic interpretation. 

    "This is data in a paragraph"
         "and here is an emphsised block"
Received on Tuesday, 1 October 1996 09:11:28 UTC

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