xml:id RE: [sc34wg3] Compact syntax requirement question

Lars Marius Garshol sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Tue, 19 Jul 2005 15:06:57 +0200

* James David Mason
| Perhaps XML is a problem if one uses just a straight editor (e.g.,
| unmodified EMACS). [...]

I don't think the issue is whether there exists a group of people
which prefers an XML syntax over a plain text one, or vice versa,
because clearly there are people in both groups.

| I will grant that syntaxes like LTM allow one to see more of a TM on
| the screen at once, but in the absence of a syntax-directed editor
| for them, that's not enough of an advantage to make me give up on
| XTM for my editing work.

I personally write LTM at least 4-5 times faster than I can write XTM,
even in Emacs, and I write XML in Emacs *much* faster than any
syntax-directed editor could let me. But like I wrote, that's not the
| So for me, a compact syntax is at most useful for presenting
| examples, not for doing real TM work.

I can assure you that there are lots of people doing all their work in
LTM, and wondering why we even bothered creating XTM. I think XTM was
necessary, and that it should remain the main topic map syntax, but it
seems to me that it's good that we can offer these people something

You are of course absolutely right that examples etc are a real use
for something like CTM.

However, the use case that clinched this for us at the meeting, and
which every person who has contributed to this thread has ignored so
far is that we need CTM for TMQL. And TMQL is not going to have an XML
syntax, which means that whoever is writing TMQL will already be
writing a plain text syntax.

So, in other words:

 - XTM is there for those who want to use XML,

 - CTM is going to appear for those who don't want to use XML, and

 - CTM is necessary for TMQL.

Lars Marius Garshol, Ontopian         <URL: http://www.ontopia.net >
GSM: +47 98 21 55 50                  <URL: http://www.garshol.priv.no >