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Re: Syntax and semantics

From: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>
Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 14:59:04 -0500
Message-ID: <3921A888.E017917C@prescod.net>
To: xml-uri@w3.org
I don't see a definition of semantics in your quote from Grune. It's
like obscenity. One short-hand definition might be "anything not
specified in the grammar."

I press this point because I cannot accept arguments based on a
distinction between syntax and semantics until someone defines semantics
for me and demonstrates that XML is lacking them.

The question is not whether XML w/namespaces should have semantics --
XML does. The question is which semantics it should have. Clearly we
want "tree-building" semantics. XML also has "link-defining semantics"
(ID/IDREF) and vocabulary conformance semantics (DTDs). I think that
that list is sufficient but I don't argue that it is anything other than
an arbitrary choice. Linking and vocabulary conformance can be banished
to other specifications (XLink and XML Schema) for cleanliness but that
doesn't remove them from the "XML Family."

XML would be useless if it did not have *at least* the tree building
semantics and is demonstrably not very useful without the other two.

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for himself
"Hardly anything more unwelcome can befall a scientific writer than 
having the foundations of his edifice shaken after the work is 
finished.  I have been placed in this position by a letter from 
Mr. Bertrand Russell..." 
 - Frege, Appendix of Basic Laws of Arithmetic (of Russell's Paradox)
Received on Tuesday, 16 May 2000 15:59:31 UTC

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