Re: Allocated chapter numbers for specific chapter content

Subject: Re: Allocated chapter numbers for specific chapter content
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2004 10:15:20 -0400

"Ned Bedinger" wrote on 10/27/2004 02:27:43 AM:
> I said at the time that I would chip away at reading
> the standards and let him know if/how I think what I
> said still makes a case.

> So, I've spent some time looking at historical XML and SGML. At
> this point, stopping short of the tricky area where SGML
> supposedly can *by definition* do anything that XML can, I don't have
> anything to add to the previous discussion.

It's an awful lot of very dull and convoluted reading isn't it. :p

Don't know what your sources were, but for anyone else is a good collection of articles. And is a group of XML and/versus
SGML articles.

Theoretically, SGML can do everything that XML can. Unfortunately a number
of the SGML functions/definitions were very difficult to implement in
parsers. If you look at you'll see
the detailed differences between the two. Some differences make it easier
for computers and more difficult for end-users (such as not allowing
Unclosed start-tags, Unclosed end-tags, Empty start-tags , or Empty
end-tags). Other changes make it more difficult/complex for DTD/Structure
designers (removal of inclusions and exclusions) while once again making
it easier for the processing engines/parsers.

Perhaps that's where the "simpler" notion came from and why it's so
misplaced when discussing end-user/writer interaction with SGML/XML. The
'simpler' part is the backroom programming and processing, not the text
entry and tagging. Also, much of the "unused" SGML standard was unused due
to a mix of lack of interest and the complexity of supporting the various
complex tagging and inclusion/exclusion possibilities. Since the adoption
of XML, which seems to have made some nonSGML compliant parsers and
processors XML compliant by removing some of the most complex
requirements, many other standards and developments have far surpassed the
'complex' SGML standards. Namespaces, XLink, Xpath, and others in my
understanding are resurrections of "failed", "shelved", or otherwise under
used SGML attempts. Some revived because they may have been easier to
implement, others simply because the added enthusiasm and hype surrounding
XML attracted enough talent and interest to drive the projects forward.

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer


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Re: Allocated chapter numbers for specific chapter content: From: Ned Bedinger

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