Re: (dsssl) XML not appropriate for TEI: (was Hypothetical question on namespaces)

Subject: Re: (dsssl) XML not appropriate for TEI: (was Hypothetical question on namespaces)
From: Norman Walsh <ndw@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: 04 Oct 2001 16:48:52 -0400
/ Trent Shipley <tcshipley@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> was heard to say:
| He said, "SGML is for hand work and narrative documents XML is for
| automation and encoding non-narrative data.  I don't care what the
| books say.  I've been in this field for a long time and they are
| wrong."

I disagree.

| So I worked for a couple days in XML and then used some SGML shortcuts, then 
| I decided it was much easier to code without the stricter XML rules.

Writing SGML (with lots of shortrefs and tag minimization, etc.) requires
fewer keystrokes. If that's your definition of "easier", then (1) you're
right and (2) you've chosen a poor editing environment.

| 6) Markup for the humanities can benefit from the allow and restrict SGML 
| features, the so-far unused concurent markup feature, and runs into XML 
| restrictions.

There are almost no tools that work with SGML. There are no tools that
I know of that implement the full generality of SGML. And no new
(significant) SGML tool will ever be written.

| For example, there is no gurantee that elements will nest when 
| describing real human communication or artifacts.  You can work around this 
| in XML with liberal use of anchors and pointers but it is very hard for 
| humans to work that way.

SGML documents must be properly nested, how is the problem you describe
addressed with SGML but not XML.

| > Both Docbook and TEI
| > would say immediately that XML is the way of the future...

SGML is dead. I might wish it to be otherwise, but it ain't.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh <ndw@xxxxxxxxxx> | A man can believe a considerable deal            | of rubbish, and yet go about his daily
                              | work in a rational and cheerful
                              | manner.--Norman Douglas

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