FW: [sc34wg3] CTM: Working draft for Montreal

Lars Heuer heuer at semagia.com
Fri Aug 11 08:43:55 EDT 2006

Hi Andreas,

> - It might be worth of allowing the "empty assertion", since experience
> (e.g. with CSS) has shown that using, e.g., a semicolon as separator
> instead of as terminator can be confusing to authors; it would be all to
> easy to forget changing the period to a semicolon when appending
> assertions, for example.

Some of the editors are aware of the problem with the semicolons and
have proposed an alternative syntax (with no semicolons) that utilizes
the colon as type/value delimiter.

         some-occ-type: "Occurrence Value"
         another-occ:   http://www.example.org/

Note that "colon" means here: Colon + min. one whitespace (':' WS+).

The proposal was rejected because QNames are using the colon as
delimiter, too.

    # Example using QNames
        q:name: "Occ Value"
        q:name2: http://www.example.org/

    # Example using QNames with optional whitespaces to
    # enhance readablity
        q:name  : "Occ Value"
        q:name2 : http://www.example.org/

The colon 'overloading' was considered as bad practice, difficult to
teach etc.

IMO it is easier to remember a delimiter *inside* a statement than at
the end of an statement. If I type something and consider it as
"complete" my mind jumps to the next issue without taking care that
the previous statement is not complete because of a missing

I think a missing end-delimiter is one of the prominent failures
newbies make while learning programming languages.

Anyway, if someone has a good alternative syntax that does not require
(end-)delimiters, feel free to post a proposal.

Best regards,

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