Re: SGML/XML syntax for DSSSL

Subject: Re: SGML/XML syntax for DSSSL
From: lex@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Alex Milowski)
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 11:49:24 -0500 (CDT)
> I think it will help the discussion if we can use reasonably meaningful
> subject lines.

Agreed...  I hope my mail daemon doesn't munge this one!  sendmail
is evil! ;-)

> One possible kind of alternative syntax is a C/C++/Java/CSS like one.
> Another possible kind is an SGML/XML based one.
> For the non-programmer (who presumably already knows SGML), I think
> something like:
> <element name=WARN>
>   <paragraph font-size=12pt font-family-name=Times-Roman
> first-line-start-indent=20pt>
>     <chars font-weight=bold>WARN</chars>
>     <children>
>   </paragraph>
> </element>
> is quite natural.
> I think this stops being natural when you start trying to doing programming.
> But for this, an alternative syntax seems less important to me: the fact
> that you have to program in a functional way is a far bigger leap for a
> C/C++/Java programmer than is the syntax.

I would fully support an "SGML/XML" syntax for DSSSL.  This seems like something
which can be defined to be isomorphic to Scheme and the current DSSSL
expression language.

> One approach that makes sense to me is:
> - Provide an SGML/XML syntax for the non-programmatic parts of DSSSL.  This
> should support calling procedures.  You would also need some very simple
> "expressions" within attribute values (ie +2pt, 10%).


> - Use the current syntax for defining procedures.

This could be moved into SGML/XML as well.  I wouldn't ever want to write
a procedure using SGML/XML though.

> - Provide a more extensive library of procedures to make it possible to
> handle a wider range of documents without having to do any programming.

Yes!!! We should have something similar to the slib library for scheme.

> This approach I think also makes sense in the context of GUI tools: they
> would fully support GUI editing of the XML parts, but the Scheme parts would
> be edited as text.


I would whole-hearted volunteer to coordinate such "standard" with resources
from my company.  

R. Alexander Milowski   alex@xxxxxxxxxx
Copernican Solutions Incorporated                  (612) 379 - 3608

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