xml:id RE: [sc34wg3] Compact syntax requirement question
Tue, 19 Jul 2005 14:56:44 +0200
Apologies to have seemed so "negative" and "aggressive". Just some precisions.
> I think it's quite clear that XML is going to have to struggle
> quite hard to compete with
> [bernard : person = "Bernard Vatant"; "vatant, bernard"]
This is where I disagree, and where I think Patrick got my point. The above has never
seemed *simple* nor intuitive to me; neither to read, nor to write (too many [ : ; [ % @
make me uneasy). To tell the truth I never even tried to learn to read LTM or AsTMa= so
actually I only guess the semantics of the above. But maybe it's only because I'm lazy :))
Anyway simplicity is what is simple for the user, and is not necessarily in linear
relation with string length ...
I've edited a lot of XTM, and never found it "painful". Verbose and heavy, yes, but not
Now the argument that it is needed for TMQL is another story. I don't understand it
completely because I'm not sure what INSERT in TMQL is, but it's certainly relevant.
>| CTM should be easy to validate
> That's an interesting requirement, but I'm not sure exactly what you
> mean by it. Validate on what level? Syntactically? Or against a schema?
I'm amazed by those questions. If you specify a language, I guess you provide ways to
check if the files you produce are conformant to the specification. Call it well-formed,
valid, whatever, in any case : when I get a file "foo.ctm", how do I make sure it's
conformant to the CTM specification? What kind of tool do I use? When I have an XML file,
I know that I have two possible levels of validation (at least), and the ways to check it
in my XML editor. What should be the levels of validation for CTM, I don't know. I just
wonder how they will be specified, and which tools i will use. Certainly a simple text
editor will not do it, right?
> And easy for whom? The implementor or the user?
Anyone who is bound to ask the question : is that file valid CTM? For example ...
[bernard : person = "Bernard Vatant"; vatant, bernard"]
... is not well-formed LTM, I guess. You need a specific parser to find out why, right?
Are such parsers available?
You say a lot of people use LTM. How do they cope with that? Are there LTM
Sorry if those seem silly questions, but lack of answers prevented me to use LTM so far.
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> -----Message d'origine-----
> De : email@example.com
> [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]De la part de Patrick Durusau
> Envoyé : mardi 19 juillet 2005 13:54
> À : email@example.com
> Objet : Re: xml:id RE: [sc34wg3] Compact syntax requirement question
> Consider the age of HTML and the lack of any demand for a "compact"
> syntax to replace it.
> Or that XQuery appears to be proceeding with an XML syntax.
> I think part of the problem is not everyone shares the background that
> makes you say "XML is too painful."
> Realizing that we all have other committments, perhaps making the case
> for a "compact" syntax along the lines of LTM or AsTMa=, rather than
> assuming everyone shares the same view of an XML syntax might ease us
> past this point.
> Personally I think very abbreviated syntaxes are probably the favorites
> of heavy users while XML (but still compact) syntaxes would probably be
> favored by less heavy users.
> Both are legitimate user communities.
> Hope you are having a great day!
> Lars Marius Garshol wrote:
> >* Lars Marius Garshol
> >| CTM is specifically meant *not* to be an XML syntax.
> >* Bernard Vatant
> >| Indeed? Where is this specified, [...]
> >Well, that was the problem: it wasn't specified in writing anywhere.
> >| and what is the rationale for not using XML?
> >That CTM should be compact, etc, and usable within TMQL (because we
> >need it for the INSERT support in TMQL updates). XML is just too
> >verbose for that.
> >| If I read the following requirements.
> >| (f) CTM needs to be compact, and easy to write.
> >| (g) CTM needs to be easy to read.
> >Yep. I think it's quite clear that XML is going to have to struggle
> >quite hard to compete with
> > [bernard : person = "Bernard Vatant"; "vatant, bernard"]
> >(though this is of course not meant to imply that CTM == LTM, or
> >anything like it).
> >The rationale for doing this is that a for a very large number of
> >cases one needs to be able to hand-edit topic map content. In these
> >cases XML is just too painful, and today people have to use LTM or
> >AsTMa= (and in fact lots of people do). It would be better if there
> >were something standardized they could use, and since we will need
> >something standardized for TMQL updates anyway we figured it would be
> >better to define this now, so that CTM, TMQL, and TMCL can have
> >coherent syntaxes.
> >| I would like to add :
> >| CTM should be easy to validate
> >That's an interesting requirement, but I'm not sure exactly what you
> >mean by it. Validate on what level? Syntactically? Or against a
> >schema? And easy for whom? The implementor or the user?
> >| CTM should be easy to translate from/into other TM syntaxes
> >| (e.g. XTM)
> >Hmmmm. What do you mean by "translate" here? If you have a topic map
> >engine with support for import/export of all the syntaxes then there's
> >really no way to fail this requirement, which makes me suspect you
> >mean something else.
> >| So, if not XML, what kind of format do you figure? Plain text, with
> >| specific grammar? With specific editing tools? Specific validators
> >| and parsers? Specific stylesheets?
> >Specific grammar and parser, yes. I don't know that there is any need
> >for the others. A simple editing mode for your favourite text editor
> >is all that's needed for developers, and they are the only ones meant
> >to use this anyway (real users should use real editing tools). Given a
> >proper parser there is no need for a specific validator (the parser
> >will do syntactic validation as part of parsing, anyway). What you
> >mean by "specific stylesheets" I don't know.
> >| This does not mean "easy" to me at all. If, just for sake of
> >| compactness (compacity?), I lose all XML technology support, count
> >| me out, I'll stick to XTM. Given existing tools, today : easy to
> >| write, read, parse, validate and translate means to me XML, sorry.
> >Why are you so negative to this? We're proposing to standardize a kind
> >of syntax which is already very widely used, primarily because it's
> >needed as a piece in another standard anyway. What's the big problem?
> >Why get upset over that?
> Patrick Durusau
> Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
> Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
> Member, Text Encoding Initiative Board of Directors, 2003-2005
> Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!
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