W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > June 1997

Re: a vote in favour of ditching PE's

From: David G. Durand <dgd@cs.bu.edu>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 1997 10:47:39 -0500
Message-Id: <v03007803afd0559469f9@[]>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
At 6:23 AM -0500 6/20/97, Digitome Ltd. wrote:
>I am *really* happy that a PE-ectomy is being considered for XML.Their
>complexity of implementation and explanation are at odds with the bulk
>of the XML spec. and the famous "spirit" of XML.

Would parameter entities that worked like the C preprocessor be too
complex? I don't think so...

>Many people with SGML will stick with SGML as their data format for many
>good reasons. They will down-translate to target XML. In this down-translation
>they have many issues to deal with - not just PEs.  I say this is good, right
>and proper. If we complicate XML too much to accomodate existing SGML
>we risk alienating the pioneers currently hitching up their wagons and
>preparing to head west. I say, making [SGML->XML] more complex
>is infinitely better than making [XML->Future Apps] more complex.

I want to use XML instead of SGML for many tasks -- losing parameter
entities will make that close to impossible for me. Since the mess around
PEs is due to their funny syntactic restrictions, I suggest that their high
utility argues for removing the syntactic restrictions, not the feature.

PEs as curently defined are also one fo the last things making a simple
LEX/YACC style implementation of XML trivial -- since PE substitution could
move into a separate input pass if they did not have contextual limits on

_And it would be much easier to explain to *users*._

There is something rotten in PEs, and it's not their existence....

 -- David

David Durand              dgd@cs.bu.edu  \  david@dynamicDiagrams.com
Boston University Computer Science        \  Sr. Analyst
http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/dgd/   \  Dynamic Diagrams
--------------------------------------------\  http://dynamicDiagrams.com/
MAPA: mapping for the WWW                    \__________________________
Received on Friday, 20 June 1997 11:05:39 UTC

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