[sc34wg3] CTM: Semicolons and the "main" identity

Lars Marius Garshol larsga at garshol.priv.no
Fri Jan 30 05:42:13 EST 2009

* Lars Heuer
> We discussed this at the Topic Maps channel, but now I remember why I
> thought it would be more consistent: All subject identifiers, subject
> locators and item identifiers require a semicolon, only the very first
> identity does not require the semicolon.

That's true, but at the same time the first identity is different from  
all the others. The structure of a topic block is

   identity (statement ';')+ '.'

This makes sense to me, as the semicolons separate the statements from  
one another. That some of the statements are identity assignments is  
not a problem in my mind.

Having it like this, however:

   identity ';' (statement ';')+ '.'

just obscures what's going on. Suddenly, the initial identity (what  
sets the subject for the following statements) just looks like another  
statement, which it's not.

It doesn't look nice in practice, either:

   ctm ; - "CTM " .

is *much* uglier than

   ctm - "CTM " .

--Lars M.

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